Malayalam film industry, known as Mollywood among movie buffs, is now one of the most competitive industries in the Indian film fraternity. The release of 'Pulimurugan' in 2016 became a milestone in Mollywood history, and it made Malayalam directors realise that the Rs 100 crore milestone is assailable in this comparatively small industry.
In 2018, several big budget movies graced the theatres in Kerala, and some of them literally took the box office by storm. International Business Times, India present you the list of top 5 Mollywood blockbusters of 2018.
Kayamkulam Kochunni (Rs 100 crore)
Rosshan Andrews' mega-budget movie 'Kayamkulam Kochunni' was the biggest Mollywood hit of 2018. The film that hit the screens on October 11 broke many collection records upon its release, and after the completion of its theatrical run, it has grossed more than Rs 100 crores at the worldwide box office.
Even though the film starred Nivin Pauly in the lead role, it was the extended cameo appearance of Mohanlal as Ithikkara Pakki which helped the movie to do wonders at the box office. Mohanlal's magical transformation was well received by critics, and everybody praised him for the hard work and dedication he put for immortalizing this character.
Odiyan (Rs 54 crore and still counting)
'Odiyan', the most anticipated movie of the year, had its theatrical release on December 14. Even though the film received negative reviews after the initial shows, it collected Rs 7.22 crore from the Kerala box office in its opening day.
However, negative reviews paved the way to word of the mouth publicity in the second and third day, and the film is now successfully running in theatres all around Kerala.
As per the latest updates, the film has apparently collected more than Rs 54 crore, and it will surely cross Kayamkulam Kochunni's collection by the end of this year.
Even though director VA Shrikumar Menon boasted of collecting Rs 100 crore as Odiyan's pre-release business, many sceptics doubt the authenticity of this figure. One of the leading producers in Mollywood had also lashed out at this trend of bolstering pre-release figure, and the audio recording of his statement had recently gone viral on social media platforms.
'Odiyan' featured Mohanlal in the title role, while the supporting star cast includes big names like Prakash Raj, Siddique, Manju Warrier, Narain and Innocent. The film portrayed the story of mythical shape-shifting people mentioned in Palakkad folklore, and it was for the first time that such a theme got handled in Mollywood.
Abrahaminte Santhathikal (Rs 38-40 crore)
Until the release of Shaji Padoor's 'Abrahaminte Santhathikal', Mammootty was going through the roughest patches in his career, delivering back-to-back flops. However, the release of 'Abrahaminte Santhathikal' came at the right time, and it played a crucial role in saving Mammootty's superstardom.
During the sixth week of Abrahaminte Santhathikal's theatrical run, producers of the movie claimed that the film has emerged as the second highest grosser in Mollywood next to Pulimurugan. However, the statement from the producer racked up negative publicity for the movie, and social media started trolling him for unnecessarily bolstering the figure.
Upon our investigation, it has been learned that 'Abrahaminte Santhathikal' has collected somewhere around Rs 38-40 Crores at the end of its theatrical run.
Varathan (Rs 33 crore)
Amal Neerad's 'Varathan' may not have impressed B and C class audiences, but it minted a huge sum of money from multiplexes all around the nation. This Fahadh Fazil starrer started silently at the box-office, and in the course of time, it emerged as a surprising sleeper hit.
Even though 'Varathan' is inspired from Hollywood movie 'Straw Dogs', Amal Neerad successfully added many regional elements and made the film in such a way that it will impress people living in Kerala. The film also exposed the 'moral policing'mentality that prevails in the minds of Keralites.
Aadhi (Rs 31 crore)
Superstar Mohanlal's son Pranav Mohanlal made a grand debut as a lead star in Mollywood with the movie 'Aadhi'. Directed by Jeethu Joseph, the film portrayed the struggles faced by a young man during a Bangalore trip. The film's major highlight was Pranav's parkour stunts, and it made many people claim that a new action star is born in Mollywood.
At the end of its theatrical run, Aadhi collected approximately Rs 31 crore at the box office.