Kumbalangi Nights becomes 2019's first Mollywood's blockbuster; Yatra, Dev fail to create impact at box-office
Despite the release of popular films such as Nivin Pauly, Manjima Mohan's Mikhael, and Prithviraj's Nine, Kumbalangi Nights, which released on 7 February, has emerged as the first film in Malayalam cinema this year to win over the hearts of both audiences and critics alike.
Fahadh Faasil's critically acclaimed holdover Malayalam drama Kumbanlangi Nights has become the first solid blockbuster of Mollywood in 2019. Despite the release of popular films such as Nivin Pauly, Manjima Mohan's Mikhael, and Prithviraj's Nine, Kumbalangi Nights, which released on 7 February, has emerged as the first film in Malayalam cinema this year to win over the hearts of both audiences and critics alike.
The film, which marks the directorial debut of Madhu C Narayanan and has been written by ace writer Syam Pushkaran, has garnered an excellent gross of Rs 20 cr from 11 days worldwide. Nearly 50% of the theatrical revenue has come from home state Kerala and close to 45% of the ticket sales comes from the UAE-GCC territory, the most significant overseas region for Malayalam film lovers. Kumbanlagi Nights also topped the offshore box-office for the weekend ending 17 February, beating the likes of Oru Adaar Love and Dev.
Kumbalangi Nights, which also stars Shane Nigam, and Soubin Shahir in essential roles, has become the highest-grossing film of 2019 in Cochi multiplexes with an estimated total of Rs 86.9 lakhs from 14 days. The film has become the third successive blockbuster for Fahadh Faasil after Varadhan and Njan Prakashan. His last three films have collected a whopping total of more than Rs 100 cr, and it's an extraordinary feat for the actor-producer, who is known for his knack of choosing uncanny scripts.
Mammootty's Yatra, which is based on the life of ex-Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy, failed to take off after the opening weekend gross of Rs 10.2 cr. The estimated total of the film after the first week is said to be only around Rs 11.2 cr. Since the theatrical rights were valued for Rs 10 cr, the film has ended as a loss for the stakeholders.
Karthi's romance drama Dev also failed to pass muster at the box-office after opening to a lukewarm reception from audiences. The film directed by Rajath scored a meager extended opening weekend total of Rs 14 cr and missed to hit the bull's eye. After delivering two super-hits films in Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, and Kadaikutty Singam, Dev is now limping at the ticket window.
While the Tamil Nadu theatrical rights of Dev, which features Rakul Preet as the lead heroine, were valued around Rs 17 cr, trade pundits peg the film's final lifetime share in the state to be only RS 7 cr, making it a substantial loss for the buyers.
Another holdover hit Dhillukku Dhuddu 2, produced by and starring Santhanam in the lead role, has pulled in a total of Rs 15 cr at the end of its first-week run. While the film has done fairly well, it must be noted that it's not able to surpass the lifetime earnings of the first part which hauled in Rs 21 cr in total sales.
A bevy of new releases has been lined up for this week including Udhay, Tamannaah's Kanne Kalaimaane, RJ Balaji, Priya Anand's LKG, and national award-winning drama To Let helmed by Cheziyan in Tamil. In Telugu, the trade is looking forward to the release of NTR: Mahanayakudu, the second part of the NTR biopic. The first part NTR: Kathanayakudu turned out to be one of the biggest disasters in the history of Tollywood, and the makers are hoping for the sequel to strike the right chord with its audiences this time.
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