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Unni Mukundan on Malikappuram: ‘When I said it would be a bigger hit than Meppadiyan, people laughed me off’ | Exclusive

Unni Mukundan says that theatres are supporting Malikappuram as it’s bringing family audiences back

Unni Mukundan on Malikappuram: ‘When I said it would be a bigger hit than Meppadiyan, people laughed me off’ | Exclusive
Unni Mukundan in a still from Malikappuram
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 07.13 AM, Jan 24, 2023

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The massive success of Unni Mukundan’s Malikappuram has been a reason to cheer for the entire film industry, as it’s bringing family audiences back to cinema halls and that too in large numbers for the first time since the pandemic.

The movie has already emerged as the biggest hit in Unni’s career, grossing over Rs 50 crore worldwide, according to reports, and is next set to release in Tamil and Telugu on January 26. The actor, in an exclusive interview with OTTplay, says that a part of its success also goes to his film Meppadiyan, which ushered in a change in perception of how the audience sees his movies.

“I believe 90% of Malikappuram’s success is also because of Meppadiyan’s impact in the society. It was different from the previous movies I had done,” says Unni. “I started my own production house, came back with a good movie that won several honours including at the Bangalore International Film Festival and Kerala Film Critics Awards.”

The movie, which released last January when the Omicron threat was at its peak and Kerala theatres retained the 50% occupancy restrictions, was also a commercial hit, says the actor.

“Before Malikappuram released, I said that if we could do this at 50% occupancy, we would have even bigger numbers at 100%. I was laughed off. But today even with bigger releases out in Kerala, my film is holding its ground,” says Unni. “Theatres in Kerala have started to support Malikappuram because it’s bringing families back to cinema halls. The confidence level that I have carried in my life has helped me withstand all these trials and tribulations.”

Unni Mukundan in a still from Malikappuram
Unni Mukundan in a still from Malikappuram

Malikappuram, which is helmed by Vishnu Sasi Shankar and released on December 30, managed to score its highest single-day gross in Kerala theatres on its 24th day the past weekend and has withstood challenges from movies such as Ajith’s Thunivu, Vijay’s Varisu, Mammootty’s Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam and Manju Warrier’s Ayisha. Malikappuram's OTT rights have been bagged by Disney+ Hotstar.

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