Nerkonda Paarvai: Ajith's star-power, combined with content-driven cinema, revives Tamil box office in 2019
Despite opening on a working day, the collections of Nerkonda Paarvai surprised everyone in the industry
It looks like 2019 belongs to Ajith aka Thala in Kollywood. The actor’s commercial potboiler Viswasam grossed more than Rs 130 crore in Tamil Nadu and stands only next to SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion in the state. As the Rajamouli directorial was dubbed in Tamil, industry has declared Viswasam as the all-time biggest local language blockbuster in Tamil Nadu.
Directed by Siva, Viswasam is also the biggest blockbuster among all the Tamil films released so far this year. 2019 is actually a dry year for Tamil film industry as the hit rate is quite low. After kick-starting the year with a bang through two blockbusters —Viswasam and Rajinikanth’s Petta, the industry only gave a few profitable films like Kanchana 3, Thadam, LKG, Dhilluku Dhuddu 2, Monster, Gurkha, Kolaigaaran, and A1: Accused No 1. The major problem is that besides Viswasam, Petta and Kanchana 3, rest of the above said films are medium budget films so the money flow generated by them is meager.
Though trade pundits continuously said that the industry in need of a big film to bring back the audiences to theaters, all the expected biggies like Karthi’s Dev, STR's Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven, Suriya’s NGK, Vishal’s Ayogya, and Vikram’s Kadaram Kondan tanked at the box office. So at a time when the entire industry in need of a big hit, Ajith’s Nerkonda Paarvai, the Tamil remake of Pink released on 8 August.
Before the release, industry veterans thought that the film’s content would not be embraced by the audiences in the small towns and rural areas. But thanks to the massive star power of Ajith and the strong content, Nerkonda Paarvai collected Rs 14.6 crore (approximate gross) on its opening day in Tamil Nadu.
In Chennai city, Nerkonda Paarvai grossed Rs 1.58 crore on day one, a new record surpassing all the films released this year including Ajith’s Viswasam and Superstar Rajinikanth’s Petta.
Despite opening on a working day, the collections of Nerkonda Paarvai surprised everyone in the industry. Early estimates say that Nerkonda Paarvai grossed a little above Rs 8 crore on the second day in Tamil Nadu and in Chennai, the film grossed Rs 1.17 crore. As the next three days are holiday period for the family audiences, theater owners expect the collections to sustain. The word of mouth is also super positive for the film so the entire industry is quite happy as they have finally got the much-needed break.
The back to back blockbusters clearly tells us the advantage of having two releases of a big hero in a financial year. Trade pundits always say that the ‘90s and early ‘00s are the golden periods of Tamil cinema as big stars used to release at least two films each year. In Tamil cinema, stars like Rajinikanth, Vijay, and Ajith are capable of attracting audiences anytime so they should minimum release two films for the prosperity of the industry.
What Ajith has done in 2019 was an eye-opener for other stars in Kollywood. He started this year with a commercial entertainer purely catered to his fans, masses and the family audiences. Viswasam multiplied his star power by several notches.
Now, with Nerkonda Paarvai, he efficiently used his star power to convey a much-needed message to the society, he also proved his acting prowess and shut the mouth of the naysayers who often blame him for not playing meaningful roles. There was a myth in the film industry that star heroes should not play the lead in critically acclaimed films as the target audiences only want the usual entertainment from them. But Nerkonda Paarvai broke all these age-old sayings in the Tamil film industry and has given new hope to the mass heroes.
Starting from now, if celebrated stars like Rajinikanth, Vijay, and Ajith deliver two films (a combination of content-driven and commercial films), the film watching standards and the overall financial situation of the industry will be improved.
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