Some Tamil and Hindi films that left Coimbatore’s audiences smiling in 2013

Actor Suriya’s roaring statement with Singam II, the witty one-liners of Sivakarthikeyan in Varuthapadatha Vaalibar Sangam and Ajith’s style-loaded entertainer Aarambam won over Coimbatore’s audiences in a big way in 2013.

“In terms of revenue, these three films did extremely well in Coimbatore and across Tamil Nadu,” says Tirupur Subramaniam, President of Tamil Nadu Film Distributor’s Federation. Another notable film that got a thumbs-up was actor Vishal’s Pandiya Naadu. Says Subramaniam: “Mass hero films got a good opening. But, the year also left promising new faces and directors, small-budget films and new producers smiling, something like what 16 Vayathiniley did decades ago.”

The digital revolution also brought down costs, benefitting films such as Soodhu Kavvum and Nadvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom. These films were made on limited budgets, yet made profits. According to industry estimates, films such as Aarambam and Varuthapadatha Vaalibar Sangam raked in the moolah, but theatre owners, distributors, and producers only got a limited share of the revenue. Subramaniam points out that out of the 165 Tamil films that released in 2013, the profits of 90 per cent of the films were shared among technicians, actors and directors. He hopes that if small budget films do well in 2014, his fraternity of theatre owners and distributors would reap the benefits.

Another new trend that swept the local market was the soaring popularity of Hindi films. “Thirty years ago, films such as Aaradhana, Bobby, Yaadon ki Baarat and Saagar ran to packed houses. There was a lull in between. 2013 revived the trend with three Hindi films — Chennai Express, Krishh 3 and Dhoom 3 —becoming super hits. It takes you back to a time when Hindi songs played across households in Tamil Nadu.”

Subramaniam says Tamil producers must learn from their Hindi counterparts; that comedy and masala elements alone won’t help sell films. “Instead, they should focus on the story and not on heroism. They should pay attention to changing audience tastes too. They should make films with good content.”

Shankar’s I, Vijay’s Jilla, Ajith’s Veeram, Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiyan and Kamal Hassan’s Viswaroopam II are set to hit the screens in 2014. “We hope they do well in Coimbatore,” he says.