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With Maharaja, Garudan and Aranmanai 4, is Tamil cinema back on track?

Despite a slow start in 2024, the second half of 2024 is packed with big releases like Indian 2, Raayan, Vettaiyan, and The GOAT, raising hopes for Tamil cinema's revival

With Maharaja, Garudan and Aranmanai 4, is Tamil cinema back on track?
Maharaja, Aranmanai 4, Garudan

Last Updated: 09.36 AM, Jun 20, 2024

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On the fourth day since the release of the Tamil film Maharaja, the makers put out a post stating the amount the film made at the box office. Revealing it to be Rs 32.6 crore, the poster also read the sentence "highest ever opening weekend worldwide gross for a Tamil film in 2024". While it is a common norm for makers to boast the numbers the film made at the cash registers of cinema halls, it became a rare phenomenon this year for Tamil cinema.

There is no doubt that the first half of 2024 belonged to the Malayalam cinema, which churned out blockbusters through films like Premalu, Aavesham, and Manjummel Boys, to name a few. It almost felt like a Malayalam cinema was needed for every Tamil Nadu theatre to make a business. However, in what may seem to be an upward trend, recent films like Maharaja, Garudan, and Aranmanai 4 have seem to be shifting to a positive upward curve.

Is Tamil cinema regaining popularity?

Last year, Tamil cinema saw a rise like never before. Even though it was peppered with some big releases like Maaveeran, Ponniyin Selvan, Jailer, and Leo, the real success came through small films that sprang up at even intervals throughout the year. Films like Good Night, Dada, Por Thozhil, Parking, and Chithha came out of nowhere and surprised the audience with not only strong content but also spiked ticket sales.

Even though 2024 may not have had such a start and was more sporadic with uneven successes through films like Blue Star and Lover, Tamil cinema is likely nursed back to good health with a good start through Aranmanai 4, Garudan and Maharaja. All these films, even as they received mixed to positive responses, were able to entice audiences to theatres. 

It is also interesting to note that these films are not particularly headlined by mega-stars but are driven by honest filmmaking and top-notch performances. Be it Soori’s performance in Garudan or Vijay Sethupathi's glorious 50th outing in Maharaja, the artists giving their all out has indeed led to these films being celebrated more. In the case of Aranmanai 4, the makers chose to release it at a time when moviegoers simply wanted to visit theatres for some entertainment.

Will 2024’s second half solve the curse?

The curse of the second half may haunt the films, but it seems the second half of 2024 might turn out to be a blessing for Tamil cinema. Packed with big projects is the second half. We begin with Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2 on July 12 and Dhanush-starrer Raayan on July 26, followed by festival releases that include Rajinikanth’s Vettaiyan for Navaratri holidays in October and The GOAT, starring Vijay, for Ganesh Chaturthi in September.

Apart from this, we also have Sivakarthikeyan’s Amaran, Suriya-starrer Kanguva, Vikram and Pa Rajith's Thangalaan, Bala’s Vanangaan, Vida Muyarchi starring Ajith, and Vetrimaaran’s Viduthalai - Part 2, which are yet to lock dates in 2024. With such a star-studded line-up, there is pretty much more hope that Tamil cinema will be back on track. If that is really the case or not is something that we will have to wait and watch.

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