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Tamil cinema half yearly report 2024: When the second half shouldn’t be the curse any longer

What has Tamil cinema provided so far in 2024 and what can we expect from the later half to get the best at the movies 

Tamil cinema half yearly report 2024: When the second half shouldn’t be the curse any longer
Tamil cinema 2024

Last Updated: 05.33 PM, Jun 28, 2024


After what audiences saw in Tamil cinema in 2023, there is no going back. Last year became the best of Tamil cinema since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, taking a toll and turning the situation of the film industry topsy-turvy, thanks to the advent of OTT platforms and the pan-Indian phenomenon.

But despite all this, the year 2023 saw the perfect mix of what can be called the sweet spot of innovative cinema and commercially viable ones, which gave way for major hit films also. While the young blood and debutants drew audiences to theatres through films like Dada, Good Night, Por Thozhil, Chittha, and Parking, we also had some of our veterans brandishing their star power to catapult audiences to theatres through Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan, Vijay-starrer Leo, and Rajinikanth’s black comedy Jailer, to name a few. We also found the perfect mix of commercial cinema, star power, and novel content through films like Jigarthanda Double X and Maaveeran, which not only evoked positive reviews but also never fell short of cash registers ringing to producers’ delight.

Cut to 2024; what we have been seeing is far from that. This year, which began with a low note despite having a star quality with films like Ayalaan and Captain Miller, has been facing a bumpy ride as 2024 crosses the half-year mark in June with few hit films and more misses. Even as the Hindi-Tamil bilingual Merry Christmas was met with positive reception, the months that followed couldn’t become merrier for Tamil cinema. But exactly how?

Tamil cinema in 2024: Sporadic and negligible gives way for hits and misses

What may seem like the first bona fide success for Tamil cinema this year came through a fairly recognisable film called Blue Star. Backed by Pa Ranjith and headlined by Ashok Selvan and Shanthanu Bhagyaraj, the cricket-based film earned a good name for its character, performance-backed story and nuanced take on oppression. Jumping a month later, we saw yet another layered and complex tale of love in the form of Lover. Both films, which were directed by debutants Jayakumar and Prabhuram Vyas, respectively, and starring promising actors Ashok Selvan and Manikandan, certainly felt like the fever of 2023 was being carried forward. But the year soon lost its charm when biggies like Lal Salaam featuring Rajinikanth (which is yet to make an OTT debut), Jayam Ravi’s Siren, and Gautham Menon's directorial Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha failed to create any impression, both at the box office and critically.

Thriving on mediocrity

Mediocrity seems to the right word to describe Tamil cinema’s half-yearly report. The 26 weekends so far have seen a dry spell, largely because of the absence of any worthy content that would attract audience. What came as a respite were re-releases like Ghilli and Malayalam super hits like Manjummel Boys, Premalu and Aavesham, which seem to work wonders among Tamil audience despite the border differences. But coming to Tamil cinema as such, films that came and went were merely a stop gap for theatres to change their bill boards. Films like Vadukkupatti Ramasamy, Rebel, Kalvan, Romeo, and Hot Spot failed to even create an impact, let alone save the silver screens from the drought.

There seems to be a light at the end of the cinematic tunnel


What may seem like a surprising opening for Tamil cinema to blossom was the release of Sundar C’s Aranmanai 4 towards the end of May. Despite not being able to convince the critics into giving it a good recommendation, the horror comedy was able to flamboyantly attract audiences into theatres. But Tamil cinema could not keep up with the consistency. Films with high expectations, like Hari and Vishal’s Rathnam and Kavin-starrer Star, failed to create an impression beyond the first few days. It came to such a point that it became explicit that Tamil cinema would become a sinking ship in 2024, in desperate need of success to prove its existence. So much so that even decent films like Garudan did not set box office records on fire, despite being a bankable venture. What may be called a saving grace is Maharaja, Vijay Sethupathi’s 50th outing, which was released in June. The film is making people visit theatres once again, albeit with a section of the audience pointing out their stance on certain problematic themes in the film.

What to expect

As we draw towards the end of the first half of 2024, there only seems to be one way to reverse the curse of the second half and make it hits for Tamil cinema. Luckily for us, the industry has been lining up with star-studded films.

To begin with, we will be starting with Kamal Haasan and Shankar’s Indian 2, followed by Dhanush’s glorious 50th outing, Raayan. We also have Rajinikanth’s Vettaiyan, Suriya's Kanguva, and The GOAT- starring Vijay, among other films like Thangalaan, Amaran, Vidaa Muyarchi and Viduthalai 2. With the probabilities higher that these films will score big time, thanks to the star culture in Tamil Nadu and promising filmmakers like Pa Ranjith and Vetrimaaran, Tamil cinema’s second half seems to be leaving no stone unturned to build up for the crescendo moment. We may also be pleasantly tucked in with sweet surprises like Kottukkali, LIC, and Yezhu Kadal Yezhu Malai, which may seem quite for now but are backed by powerful talents waiting for releases.

Indian 2, which is the first major Tamil film to release in the second half of 2024, is headlined by Kamal Haasan and directed by Shankar. It is not only a sequel to their 1996 film Indian, but also carried enough nostalgic value, which increases the anticipation of audience. 

Up next is Raayan, which is directed by Dhanush and also stars him in the lead role. Raayan is special for more than one reason. It not only is Dhanush's 50th film but also a star-studded affair, including actors SJ Suryah, Selvaraghavan, Dushara Vijayan, Kalidas Jayaram, Prakash Raj, Aparna Balamurali and others. 

Come September, we also have The GOAT, starring Vijay, which is much anticipated because it is his first release after he announced the political plunge. It is also most expected given we get to see Vijay in dual avatars, young and old, in the film directed by Venkat Prabhu who is often known for his quirkiness. 

Having said this, only time will tell if the rest of 2024 will get rid of the second-half curse for good. Until then, let’s be promised to witness some miracles cooked up on screen!

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