Kollywood 2023 half-yearly report: Hits, misses and big surprises (2024)

2023 was a mixed bag for the Tamil film industry. Apart from a few star-driven films, it is the small-budget films that surprised the audience.

Kollywood 2023 half-yearly report: Hits, misses and big surprises (1)

Thunivu, Varisu, Dada and Good Night are some of the hits of 2023.

Janani K

Chennai,UPDATED: Jul 3, 2023 16:12 IST

2023 has been quite memorable for the Tamil film industry. With a handful of superstar films and quite a few misses, it has been a mixed bag for Kollywood. Considering the first six months, the biggest takeaway is the success of the small-budget films that went on to be money-spinners at the box office.

In this piece, we list out the hits, misses and the biggest surprises of the Tamil film industry.



2023 started off on a solid note with the release of Ajith Kumar's Thunivu and Thalapathy Vijay's Varisu. The two films continued to be the biggest grossers of the year till June.

READ Thalapathy Vijay’s Varisu vs Ajith Kumar’s Thunivu, 5 reasons why you should watch both films this Pongal

Tirupur Subramaniam, film distributor and head of Tamil Nadu's Theatre Owners Association, speaking to IndiaToday.in said, "The revenue was less when compared to last year. Thunivu, Varisu and Ponniyin Selvan 2 were big hits of this year. Dhanush's Vaathi was an average-grosser. But, the underdogs were Ashok Selvan-Sarathkumar's Por Thozhil, Kavin's Dada and Manikandan's Good Night."

Here's the trailer of Thunivu:


Film analyst Sreedhar Pillai echoes a similar thought. He said that this year so far hasn't been as good as 2022. However, 2023 has its fair share of hits and misses.

READ Before Varisu vs Thunivu, every time when Ajith and Vijay's films clashed at the box office

Speaking to IndiaToday.in, Pillai said, "The top-hits of 2023 were star-driven films. Thunivu, Varisu, PS2, Viduthalai and Pichaikkaran 2 have turned out to be superhits this year. The biggest surprise of this year was Por Thozhil. The film's Tamil Nadu theatrical turned out of profitable. Hence, its return on investment was more."

Here's the trailer of Por Thozhil:

He further added that films made on a shoestring budget brought audiences to theaters. 'Dada and Good Night' were hit films as well. There were other films that were hits, but in terms of gross collections. Tracing the first six months of 2023, the message is loud and clear. Despite audiences not coming to the theater, it is clear that if you present good content, the word will spread," he revealed.

According to Sreedhar Pillai, Viduthalai: Part 1 was a breakeven film and PS 2 was profitable. "Vetri Maaran's Viduthalai's budget was high and it managed to breakeven. That was because its digital rights were sold much ahead of the release. Similarly, Ponniyin Selvan 2 did not do much as PS 1 did. PS 1 earned over Rs 100 crore share in Tamil Nadu. While PS 2 did not do half of PS 1's collection, it still managed to be profitable, he remarked."

Here's the trailer of Viduthalai:


A producer on the condition of anonymity, said, "Maamannan, which released recently, can also be considered a hit along with the other superhits. Simbu's Pathu Thala was an average-grosser. This was a year of small-budget films. Good Night, Por Thozhil, Dada and Ayothi did well in theatres."

The biggest misses of 2023 were Prabhudheva's Bagheera, Jaywam Ravi's Agilan and Naga Chaitanya's Custody.


Sreedhar Pillai observed that there is a noticeable behavioral change in the way the audience perceive films. "Not many people are visiting theatres and there are a lot of parameters at stake. But, collection-wise, we cannot expect pre-Covid numbers now. This is the new normal and this is the future," he said.

READ Vijay's 'Leo', Rajinikanth's 'Jailer' will save Kollywood in 2023: Trade experts

He also pointed out the increasing costs for food and beverages at the theatre, which is one of the contributing factors to less turnout in theatres. "In Tamil Nadu, ticket rates are the cheapest. If you take Bangalore, Mumbai or other states, the ticket rates range between Rs 500 to Rs 1200, depending on the craze. The increasing costs of living in a metropolitan city, food and transportation are more these days. People spend Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 for a family to watch a film. But, you can afford a one-year subscription to an OTT platform. Also, most of the films are available on OTT within a month of release. So, people go to theatres if the reviews are good," he added.



2022 saw Ajith's Valimai, Vijay's Beast, Yash's KGF 2, Jr NTR-Ram Charan's RRR and Kamal Haasan's Vikram. The producer said, "The first half of 2022 saw continuous big films. This year, it has been sporadic. However, the next six months look promising with the releases of Rajinikanth's Jailer, Vijay's Leo, Prabhas' Salaar, Sivakarthikeyan's Maaveeran and Dhanush's Captain Miller, to name a few," the producer explained.

How will the next half of 2023 turn out for Kollywood? Let's wait and see!

Published By:

shweta keshri

Published On:

Jul 3, 2023

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Kollywood 2023 half-yearly report: Hits, misses and big surprises (2024)
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