For Sand-alwood, this year has been packed with action and love stories. Among the 102 films including Yaare Koogadali that will see its release end of this year, approximately 20 films have made profit amongst the films that tried to break even or flopped miserably at the box office. However, the 2012 report card did not show any bright results as the release count dropped by 25 in comparison with the previous year. “That is because of recession. Everybody decided to invest on gold and not movies,” said Indrajit Lankesh, director. With a few of them backing their investment through TV rights; the total investment made by producers this year came close to Rs 251 crore .
Box office heroes
This time the box office king title remains with Darshan, thanks to his big budget film Kranthi Veera Sangolli Rayanna. Chingari starring Darshan earned Rs12 crore while his recent film KVSR set the cash registers ringing with the film earning approximately Rs 20 crore and still running successfully in many theatres. To top it all, the film has already fetched TV rights of Rs 8 crore. This proves that Darshan has managed to become the bankable star of the year, whose films alone did a business of Rs 25 to Rs 30 crore, which is a rare scene in Kannada film industry. The next in line after the Challenging star is Upendra who had a series of releases this year. Out of which Katari Veera Surasundarangi and Kalpana made a little profit while God Father produced by K Manju and Aarakshaka directed by P Vasu suffered losses. This resulted in Upendra doing a ‘balancing’ act. This time the number one star Puneeth Rajkumar has come down to the third position as he had just one film Anna Bond releasing in May through which producers made some profit while distributors ran a huge loss. The Power Star will now have his next flick Yaare Koogadali releasing this year end.
Shiva starring Shivaraj-kumar created a lot of buzz before its release but did not meet any expectations. Shivarajkumar could not create any magic at the box office this year.
Newbie Dhruv Sarja surprised the Kannada industry with his film Addhuri running successfully for 125 days. The love story directed by Arjun did all the magic. Dhruv became the talk of the town and has been considered as a new star in the making.
Prajwal Devaraj was an average hero with the producers getting back all the investment made on his films like Sagar, Murali Meets Meera, Gokula Krishna and Super Shastri among his other films.
Yogi and Diganth flopped this year while Ganesh and Vijay’s films could not take off at all. Ganesh had Munjane, Romeo and Mr 420 releasing this year. “I guess Ganesh had good films but had some bad releases too this year. Romeo released when Eega came into theatres and his other film Shyloo was an average movie,” added the director. Vijay’s Bheema Theeradali ended up being a huge loss for the producer and distributor. As for Yogi’s films Alemari and Siddlingu gave him critical acclaim. However, commercially the film did not do well. Apparently, Alemari is yet to get good TV rights while his Kalaya Tasmai Namaha was sold for approximately 65 to 70 lakhs. Diganth’s Dev Son of Mudde Gowda went off from theatres in just two weeks of its release.
Heroine of 2012
As for heroines, Radhika Pandit became the talk of Sandalwood this year with her earning brownie points with eight releases. The actress proved that talent trumps glamour any day. This year she had Addhuri which was a run away hit and Drama currently running successfully. Though she had equal number of hits and flops, she was appreciated for her role in each film and became the number one actress who won over the glam heroines of Kannada industry like Ramya and Ragini Dwivedi. However, Aindrita Ray remained silent this year. Her film Parijatha did not meet the expectations. Though Pooja Gandhi had one big hit with Dandupalya, she could connect with the masses.
Small budget films
Small budget films showed good results. Films like Govindaya Namaha which was made with a budget of 80 lakh made a business of Rs 5 to Rs 6 crore. Actor Sharan’s Rambo which was made in Rs 2 crores managed to earn Rs 5 crores. The same was the case with films like 12 AM was made in Rs 70 lakh earned good profit and also ran for 50 days. This year’s second block buster film was Dandupalya. The film directed by Srinivasa Raju was made with not many big stars and under a budget of Rs 3 crore.
This year original script gained more popularity though we had around 10 to 12 remakes. Except for Kalpana which was a remake of Kanchana ran for 50 days, other remake films did not fare well.
Super hit films
Addhuri, Chingari, Kranti Veera Sangolli Rayanna, Govindaya Namaha, Rambo, Dandupalya and Drama (still running packed houses) were the super hit films this year.
Kalpana, Godfather, Katari Veera Surasundarangi, Snehitaru, Dakota Picture, Anna Bond, Sagar, Shiva and Shakti are the films that did not do that well this year.