This year has been a successful one for Sandalwood with 154 films, with a total budget of `400 crore, being released. Unconventional plots like that of Simpleagi Ondu Love Story, Jatta and Lucia's paved the way for a new school of thought.
Charminar turned out to be a blockbuster, and Mynaa, Bachchan, Bulbul, Googly, Brindavana, Victory, Silk Sakkath Hot Maga, Auto Raja, Lucia and Bajarangi followed in the same league.
Kannada filmmakers have always been dogged by worries of decreasing footfall in theatres and of other language films stealing their thunder. However, aggressive marketing strategies where many promoted their films on social networking sites worked in grabbing attention.
A few big budget films starring top stars became the top grossers. Sudeep's Bachchan, made with `11 crore, raked in ` 20 crore and Darshan's `12 crore Bulbul earned nearly `25 crore. Darshan's other film, Brindavana, too was declared a super hit.
Actor Yash created a lot of buzz with his films Googly and Raja Hulli. Googly, directed by Pawan Wadeyar and made with `4 crore, made a surprise collection of `15 crore with satellite rights going for `2 crore. Raja Hulli did a business of `12 crore.
Of the 20 hit films, some were experimental productions like Simpleagi Ondu Love Story, Lucia and 6-5=2 that kept cash registers ringing and made news.
Not all A-list actors met audience expectations. Shivarajkumar's Lakshmi, Kaddipudi, Andar Bahar and Upendra's Topiwala all failed. However, Shivanna's film Bajarangi turned things around for him.
Missing from action
This year, there was no Puneeth Rajkumar film. However, the actor kept himself busy with his reality show and with the shooting of Mythri, Ninnindale and now the Dokudu remake.
Ramya became a member of parliament from Mandya constituency. She had no releases but has assured she will complete pending projects including Dil Ka Raja, Neer Dose and Aryan.
Rachita Ram and Shweta Srivastav made an impact on big screen this year. Rachita debuted in the hit Bulbul and now she's part of Dil Rangeela opposite Ganesh and another Darshan film Ambareesha. Shweta Srivastav wooed the audience with her performance in Simpleagi Ondu Love Story. She will next be seen in Fair & Lovely. Rakshit Shetty was in the news for his performance in Simple... and for having directed Ulidavaru Kandante. Ninasam Satish found fame with Lucia.
Radhika Pandit continued to rule the roost. The actress attracted attention for her performances in Kaddipudi and Dilwala. She is currently shooting for Bahaddoor opposite Dhruv Sarja which will be followed by Mr and Mrs Ramachari opposite Yash and Endendigu with Ajay Rao.
Ragini Dwivedi failed to impress and her only film Bangaari was a box office dud while her much-awaited Ragini IPS has been further delayed.
The industry took notice of directors Suni - for the trendsetting film Simpleagi Ondu Love Story - and Pawan Wadeyar for Lucia. Yograj Bhat decided to head to Bollywood this year.