There have been several hit releases like Mysskin's slasher thriller Psycho (with a running total of Rs 16 crore in Tamil Nadu) and Dhanush's Pattas, but there have also been quite a few box office duds. Santhanam's Dagaalty and Sasikumar-starrer Naadodigal 2, which released on 31 January and 1 February, respectively, have quickly petered out of the race with negligible shows in their second week.
Sasikumar has plenty of releases lined up this year, and the worrying performance of Naadodigal 2 has set the alarm bells ringing. Santhanam also has back-to-back films such as Server Sundaram, Dikkiloona and Biskoth. Server Sundaram, which has faced multiple delays, is now slated to release on 21 February.
On 7 February, Jiiva's Seeru and Mani Ratnam-produced Vaanam Kottatum opened in theatres across the state to reasonably good reviews. While the former is a commercial mass entertainer with a message about women empowerment, the latter is a family drama powered by a strong lead cast. Both films came out with low numbers after the opening weekend; Seeru grossed Rs 2.83 crore in Tamil Nadu and Vaanam Kottatum made Rs 2.72 crore. Vaanam Kottatum had a slight lead in Chennai, with a three-day gross of Rs 55 lakh. Meanwhile, Seeru managed to rake in Rs 53 lakh.
Jiiva and Vikram Prabhu respectively, have been going through a testing phase over the past few years, which is reflected in the opening numbers of their latest films. With quite a few movies set to release for the Valentine's Day weekend " Naan Sirithal, Oh My Kadavule, to name a few " Seeru and Vaanam Kottatum will find it tough to sustain in their second week.
The Tamil industry will be looking at some hits to keep the momentum going. The months of February and March are generally dull for the movie business, mostly due to examination season. However, last year this period saw thumping hits like LKG, Thadam, and Dhilluku Dhuddu 2. The trade hopes that films like Hiphop Tamizha's Naan Sirithal and Karthick Naren's Mafia (set to release on 21 February) will witness a similar reception.
Jaanu was the sole noteworthy release for the Telugu industry on 7 February. An official remake of the sensational Tamil love story 96, it has Samantha Akkineni and Sharwanand in lead roles. Director Prem Kumar returned to helm the remake as well. The film has received positive reviews, and people who watched 96, felt that the soul of the original had been retained in the remake.
Samantha has been quite vocal about Jaanu on her social media, and her energy and enthusiasm surrounding this project are clearly evident. She has participated in many promotional events for Jaanu to spread the word across Telugu speaking masses. Unfortunately, the film's box office numbers do not portray a rosy picture.
In the USA, as well as the domestic market, Jaanu has struggled to keep the cash registers ringing. The film's total worldwide theatrical rights are valued at around Rs 21 crore. After the first three days of its opening, Jaanu has managed a global theatrical share of around Rs 6.5 crore. The film's earnings reportedly dropped significantly on Monday. Jaanu does not seem to have a long run ahead, and the trade predicts a closing share in the Rs 7.5 crore range, suggesting a considerable loss for the stakeholders.
After the Sankranti blockbusters, Allu Arjun's Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, and Mahesh Babu's Sarileru Neekevvaru, the Telugu industry has had consecutive box office flops like Disco Raja, Aswathama and now Jaanu.