Kollywood's 2013 First Quarter - Special Report

2013 first quarter report for Tamil cinema is hugely disappointing. There were a record 44 releases out of which only three will make profit for the producers. Theatrical collections are at an all time low, due to various reasons.

Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam which was censored with an UA certificate was banned by the state government initially for two weeks, as they felt it would hurt the sentiments of a particular community. After the offending scenes were removed the film was cleared and released two weeks later.

The controversies helped the film to become a hit. Kamal Haasan who had pledged everything on the movie was able to pay back his creditors. Vishwaroopam is clearly the number one hit of the year so far.

Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya (KLTA) is the other big winner which released for Pongal. The crass comedy, starpower of Santhanam and the marketing of Red Giants enabled it to get an opening. Powerstar Sreenivasan became a much in demand star with the film.

Pandiraj’s Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga (KBKR), released last Friday has taken a decent opening. Escape Motion Pictures and Pasanga Films had sold the film to Studio Green who in turn sold all areas and made a handsome profit. KBKR a family entertainer looks to be a safe bet for all concerned.

However the biggest disappointment of the year is the failure of some movies which were sold at a high price and bombed miserably at the box-office. Karthi’s Alex Pandian touted as the Pongal biggie bombed after the first show and is a write off.

Similarly Mani Ratnam’s highly anticipated Kadal turned out to be an epic disaster. Mani Ratnam had sold it to Gemini Film Circuit, who in turn had sold it to various distributors in Tamil Nadu. Everybody who brought the film lost money and Mannan Films demanded money back from Mani, which led to ugly scenes and a court order to provide protection to the director.

Ameerin Adhibhagavan was another biggie, a controversial film that failed to take off at the box-office. Vikram-Jiiva bilingual Bejoy Nambiar directed David was another colossal flop, which many single screens removed after three days!

Bala ‘s dark and depressing critically acclaimed Paradesi took a decent opening in multiplexes but could not sustain. It may break even from all rights put together. The other film which was critically acclaimed was Haridas, which did not get a proper release.

Who won on First Quarter of 2013

  • Film – Paradesi
  • Director – Bala (Paradesi)
  • Wholesome Entertainer – Vishwaroopam 
  • Actor – Kamal Haasan (Vishwaroopam) 
  • Actress – Vedhika (Paradesi)
  • Comedian – Power Star Srinivasan (Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya)
  • Debut actor – Gautham Karthik (Kadal)
  • Cinematographer – Chezhiyan (Paradesi)
  • Editor – Mahesh Narayanan (Vishwaroopam)


  • Music Director – A R Rahman (Kadal)
  • Lyricist – Vairamuthu (Paradesi)
  • Female Singer – Shakthisree Gopalan (Nenjukkulley, Kadal)
  • Male Singer – Gangai Amaren (Senneer Thana, Paradesi)
(only movies released between Jan 1 to March 31 and not based on music album release date)

Bala delivers his best

Director Bala’s last film ‘Avan Ivan’ received lukewarm response at the box-office and the critics wrote it off. But, his latest offering Paradesi was a world class attempt to show the pages of forgotten past without commercial compromises. No other director might dare to take such a gamble other than Bala. The movie received rave reviews and was celebrated by critics. However, the movie became an average grosser at the box-office.


The biggest disappointment of the first quarter was Mani Ratnam’s Kadal. The movie had some great music from A. R. Rahman and pleasing cinematography from Rajeev Menon, but Mani Ratnam’s magic was surely missing. Ameerin Aadhi Bhagavan did not live up to its expectations, becoming the first miss for director Ameer. Bejoy Nambiar’s David looked like a dubbed film, more than a bilingual. The nativity was missing and the plot lacked any excitement.

Novel Attempts

Haridas was a bold attempt to showcase autism in children but the screenplay could have focused more on the autism part. Vana Yuddham, biopic of Veerappan, was well made but the movie was heavily butchered, due to political reasons and conservative censor board. Chennaiyil Oru Naal, which released last week, is receiving good reviews from the audience as well as critics.

Glimpse of Promise

Samar had an interesting storyline but the treatment could have been better. Vathikuchi had some interesting scenes but could not sustain the excitement level throughout.  Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga is funny at places, but has its share of low moments too. However, the movie might become yet another Sivakarthikeyan special that will turn out to be a hit at the box-office. Sundaattam was based on board game carom, but too many sub-plots played spoilsport.

Damp Squibs

Alex Pandian takes the honor for the most hated movie of the quarter closely followed by Onbadhula Guru. Alex Pandian was a poorly made crass commercial entertainer, with many double entendres and illogical sequences.

On the whole 2013 has started badly for Tamil film industry with few good movies to mention, which is plagued by various factors not related to movie making.


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