Both Mammootty’s Christopher and Mohanlal’s Aaraattu are directed by B Unnikrishnan and scripted by Udaykrishna
Malayalam megastar Mammootty’s box-office success streak, which began a year ago with Amal Neerad’s Bheeshma Parvam, was brought to a halt earlier this year with Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam and B Unnikrishnan’s Christopher. While the former was never really billed to set the box office on fire, Christopher, which had the actor play a cop again, was expected to create continue the actor’s golden run.
As the movie is gearing up for its OTT release on Amazon Prime Video, the latest box office figures of the investigative thriller, which is helmed by B Unnikrishnan and Udaykrishna, state that the movie grossed only about Rs 11 crore worldwide after its theatrical run. Apart from Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam, this is the lowest for a Mammootty-starrer since the pandemic that saw him be part of films such as CBI 5: The Brain, Rorschach and Bheeshma Parvam – all of which grossed over Rs 20Cr.
What’s even more striking is that B Unnikrishnan and Udaykrishna’s Aaraattu, which starred Mohanlal and was universally panned, outperformed the duo’s latest movie at the box office. According to reports of trade analysts, Aaraattu did business worth Rs 22Cr from theatricals and a further Rs 10 Cr from OTT and satellite rights, proving to be a profit for its producers.
Christopher was the more superior film compared to Aaraattu, but the latter seems to have benefitted from being Mohanlal’s second theatrical release since the pandemic and its positioning as a ‘mass’ entertainer – even though the film’s content become fodder for social media trolls for most of last year. Mohanlal’s lean patch still continues, with Alone failing to create even a flutter at the box office. It’s only Spadikam’s re-release that collected close to Rs 5Cr from the box office.
Meanwhile, the makers of Christopher are yet to reveal how much its OTT and satellite rights were sold for, but it’s safe to say, considering that the megastar’s previous releases, the combined value should have helped recover a considerable portion of the movie’s budget. Coincidentally, Christopher was first offered to Mohanlal, who decided to do Aaraattu instead as it would have been tough to pull off the film while the pandemic restrictions were in place. Christopher, which also has Aishwarya Lekshmi, Amala Paul, Vinay Rai and Sneha, is release on Amazon Prime Video on March 9.