With over Rs. 10 crore at stake, the Malayalam film industry is keeping its fingers crossed this festival season. Going by initial reports, the new releases have evoked mixed response at the box-office. In the race for top honours, Mohanlal takes on Mamootty with Baba Kalyani. Mamootty puts up an equal fight with Palunku. Suresh Gopi is there with Smart City. Jayaram is getting ready with Kanakasimhasanam. And a few youngsters are trying their luck with Notebook.

Within a few days, the box-office would deliver the final result.

Industry observers say that Mohanlal's Baba Kalyani is a film for Mohanlal fans. The pre-release hype seems to have not fully transformed into reality at the box-office. Trade pundits say that the movie might sail through thanks to the decision taken by its distributors to release the movie at nearly 60 centres across the State. To check piracy, the movie was not released in any other centre outside the State and abroad. The first week's collections would be crucial, as the number of viewers might go down once school and colleges re-open after Christmas vacation.

Mamootty's Palunku seems to have not created the initial response that Blessy got for his earlier flick, Thanmatra. But the makers of Palunku are hopeful that the film would pick up. Blessy's Kazhcha also opened on a slow note and later went on to become a hit. B. Unnikrishnan's Smart City has received praise for its pacy narrative. The film's take on Kerala politics seems to have clicked. Despite these plus points, the box-office performance was not up to the mark in the opening days.

The big stars might be there for this festival but the real `big' movie for this season is none other than Rosshan Andrews's Notebook.

A big budget movie, Notebook is a film of newcomers. Penned by Sanjay and Bobby, the movie has opened on a good note thanks to the vigorous campaign launched by its makers across the State. Notebook needs to sustain its momentum to click at the box-office.

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