Sandalwood 2016: Highs and lows of Kannada films
Doddamange Hudga, Shivalinga and Kotigobba 2 are biggest hits at the Kannada box office in 2016.PR Handout

Sandalwood has produced over 160 movies and still counting in the year 2016 out of which 15 movies have turned out to be profitable ventures for the producers. After suffering huge losses in the first quarter, the industry recovered with a series of hit movies made with moderate budgets in the second quarter and extended its good run up to the third quarter. Even though towards the end of the year, the industry was affected by the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, Kannada films may well end the year on a positive note.

The success of movies like U Turn, Karva, Godhi Banna, Kirigurina Gayaligana goes on to show that the Kannada audience's taste is fast-changing towards content-oriented subjects. Any new attempt is being recognised by the cine-goers like never before and performance of the aforementioned movies at the box office is just an indication of it.

"The year 2016 has been really good for Sandalwood. A lot of films have done well and content-oriented films have struck gold at the box office. The best part of the year is newcomers films have continued to perform well," tells Krishna Chaitanya, the producer of Karva. "This is the best time for budding filmmakers as the audience are now open for fresh subjects," a leading distributor says.

First Quarter Analysis
In the first quarter, over 50 movies were released, but only a handful of films gave good returns to the producers and distributors. Shivalinga and Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu emerged victorious at the box office.

Second Quarter Analysis
The number of releases remains more or less the same. In this period, a couple of successful movies were made in the form of U Turn, Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu and Jaggu Dada. A few films like Puneeth Rajkumar's Chakravyuha recovered its investment, although it did not perform up to the expectations.

Third Quarter Analysis
The industry maintained the momentum and this period belonged to the A-list stars. Sudeep's much-awaited Kottigobba 2, Jaggesh's Neer Dose and Puneeth Rajkumar's Doddamane Hudga ruled the box office. Ganesh's Mungaru Male 2 did well at the box office, but reportedly the huge budget reduced the margin of profits to the makers.

Fourth Quarter Analysis
Jaguar, the launchpad of HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumar, Yogaraj Bhat's Dana Kayonu and Yash's Santhu Straight Forward along with Priyanka Upendra's Mummy kept the cash registers ringing at the box office. Continue reading the second part of the story to find the highest grossing movies of 2016