Chennai, Dec 24
From superstar Rajinikanth's Tamil gangster drama 'Kabali' to Mohanlal's Malayalam action-drama 'Puli Murugan', southern cinema thrived on the business made by these biggies and at the same time also witnessed the surprise hits of low-budget, content-driven films such as 'Pellichoopulu' and 'U-Turn'.
Striking a perfect balance between content-driven and star-centric cinema, Malayalam industry yet again gained an upper hand over other southern industries.
Superstar Mohanlal delivered two back-to-back blockbusters. Interestingly, his 'Oppam' worked due to its content, whereas 'Puli Murugan' was lapped up for its overall commercial treatment.
'Mohanlal bounced back strongly with three Rs 100 crore grossing films (including 'Janatha Garage'). With 'Puli Murugan' continuing to run in select cinemas, distributors made a fortune on the film with its high returns,' distributor Arvind Nambiar told IANS.
Other hits include Nivin Pauly's heartwarming drama 'Jacobinte Swargarajyam', which was made on a budget of Rs 7 crore and earned around Rs 22 crore in returns.
Dileep's 'King Liar' earned Rs 20.5 crore on a budget of Rs 10 crore. 'Mahesinte Prathikaram' helped actor Fahadh Faasil register a hit after a long time with earnings over Rs 17 crore.
Other notable Malayalam films of 2016 are 'Kammatipaadam', 'Oru Muthassi Gadha', 'Kali', 'Kismath' and 'Action Hero Biju'.