Malayalam cinema 2019: the hits and misses from 192 movies

Kochi: 2019 hasn’t been a great year for the Malayalam cinema; at least that is what the numbers say. Though 192 movies had hit the screens, only 23 films were able to earn back its costs. This comes to just 12% of what was totally spent for the Malayalam movies.

The producers association assumes that more than Rs 800 crores was spent for making these movies. The industry has apparently registered a loss of whopping 550 crores.

These numbers do not include the collections or rights income of a few movies that were released last week, including the big budget Mammootty-starrer Mamangam. Last year, in 2018, only 152 movies were released in the theaters. However, this year it has gone up to 192, that is 40 movies more than what was released last year. This excludes the movies from other languages that were dubbed and released in Kerala. Interestingly, at least 4 movies were released every Friday this year.

Among the 23 movies that earned back the money, only 7 movies could collect it from the box office. The rest of the movies in the list could cross the mark with the help of the digital and the satellite rights. 12 among the 192 movies released in 2019 were big budget films whose budgets exceeded Rs 10 crore. The joint budget of Mamangam (56 crore), Lucifer (36 crores) and Jack Daniel (16 crore) alone would come up to more than Rs 100 crore.

There are at least 40 movies made on more than Rs 5 crore budget. Meanwhile, at least 80 movies were completed in Rs 2 crore.

More than the success or flop of these movies, such an overwhelming number of movies suggest that the industry has given jobs to thousands of artists, technicians and other workers. It would at least take the time, energy and efforts of 110 – 125 persons to complete even an ordinary movie. The cinema industry that includes the artists, technicians, distributors and theater owners is the financial backbone of thousands of families and brings great revenue for the government as well in the form of taxes. The government has received more than Rs 150 crore as taxes from these movies. There is 18% GST for the remuneration of the artists and technicians.

“The 23% tax including GST and the entertainment taxes have kept the audiences away from the theaters. Earlier the ticket charge was Rs 113 and now it has jumped to Rs 130. The audience preferred watching movies in their homes in TV channels or in Amazon prime. Over taxation would destroy the cinema industry,” says M Ranjith the president of the producers association.

Box office hits

Asif Ali starrer Vijay Superum Pournamiyum was this year’s first box office success.

Meanwhile, Kettiyolanente Maalakha became the last hit.

Thannermathan Dinangal registered the most impressive profits. The movie made on a small budget, below Rs 2 crore, had minted more than Rs 15 crore from the theaters.

Movies that had a successful run at the theaters:

Vijay Superum pournamiyum

Kumbalangi Nights



Thannermathan Dinangal

Android Kunjappan

Kettiyolanente Maalakha

Movies that earned back its cost through digital and satellite rights:

Allu Ramachandran

Oru Adaar Love


Kodathi Samaksham Baalan Vakeel

Mera Naam Shaji


Oru Yamandan Prema Katha




Pathinettam Padi

Porinju Mariyam Jose

Love Action Drama

Ittimani Made in China


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