It's the last month of the year and yes, it's time to have a look back. It was a hot year for Malayalam industry, with about 114 releases already. The final numbers are not in yet as movies such as Jomonte Suvisheshangal, Munthirivallikal Thallirkumbol and Ezra are yet to be released.
Here, we bring you the top ten highest grossing Malayalam movies of 2016:
(All figures are approximate and according to the numbers till November 27)
1. Movie: Pulimurugan
Cast: Mohanlal, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Jagapathi Babu, Lal
Budget: Rs 25 crore
The Vysakh directorial, which was an action-thriller, was released on 7 October, 2016 during Pooja holidays and is still holding the reins at the Kerala box office. It is the first for a Malayalam movie to make 100 crore business and break all pre-existing records. The film, which is still running to packed houses has so far minted Rs 125 crore and also set a unique record to become the first film to complete 50-day theatrical run in more than 100 cinemas at the Kerala box office. Mohanlal's amazing performance with high-end graphics is the biggest highlight of the movie.
2. Movie: Oppam
Cast: Mohanlal, Baby Meenakshi, Anusree, Vimala Raman
Budget: Rs 7 crore
The crime-thriller, directed by Priyadarshan, hit about 104 screens in Kerala on 8 September, 2016 as Onam release. The word-of-mouth publicity boosted the ticket sales, setting a state-wide opening-week record (previously held by Premam) by collecting Rs 12.60 crore in seven days. In fact, Oppam became the fastest Malayalam film to gross over Rs 50 crore at the worldwide box office within a short span of 39 days. In two months’ theatrical run, it grossed Rs 61 crore at global box office surpassing Premam to become the third highest grossing Malayalam film of all time. The gripping tale and Mohanlal's portrayal of his role as a blind man were the major highlights of the movie.
3. Movie: King Liar
Cast: Dileep, Madonna Sebastian, Lal, Asha Sarath
Budget: Rs 10.5 crores
Penned by Siddique and directed by Lal, King Liar was released on 2 April, 2016. It was one of the most anticipated movies as it brought back the Siddique-Lal combo. A typical Dileep movie, King Liar did tremendous business on its opening day and is said to have earned a gross amount of Rs 1.52 crore on its first day at the Kerala box office. It has collected Rs 20.50 crores from Kerala box office in 58 days. King Liar was a slapstick comedy at its glamourous best.
4. Movie: Thoppil Joppan
Cast: Mammootty, Mamtha Mohandas, Andrea
Budget: Rs 6.2 crore
The pooja release Thoppil Joppan, directed by Johny Antony, started its box office journey quite slowly, but gradually and enjoyed a sweet run at the box office. The film collected Rs 2.06 crore on its opening day and later, grossed about Rs 14.1 crore in 24 days from Kerala box office. Mammootty's achayan role and the simple light-hearted comedy were the biggest strengths of the movie.
5. Movie: Kasaba
Cast: Mammootty, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Budget: Rs 7.8 crore
Nithin Renji Panicker's debut directorial Kasaba emerged as the winner among the Eid releases. Kasaba was released on 7 July, 2016 and had a tremendous opening, collecting about Rs 2.5 crore in Kerala on its first day, a record collection for a Malayalam film at that time of release. The film collected about Rs 14.37 crore within a month of its release. Although the movie was criticized for its sexist dialogues, Kasaba was a treat for Mammootty fans.
6. Movie: Jacobinte Swargarajyam
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Renji Panicker, Lakshmy Ramakrishnan
Budget: 7.5 crore
The movie, released on 8 April, 2016, was written and directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan. The film grossed Rs 1.35 crore on the opening day from Kerala box office. It completed 70 days run in Kerala and grossed Rs 25 crore from all over India. The film completed 100 days in 23 theatres across Kerala. The film was much praised for its well-written script, with the right mix of light humour and emotional elements.
7. Movie: Action Hero Biju
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Anu Emmanuel, Suraj Venjaramoodu
Budget: Rs 2.5- 3 crore
After the success of Abrid Shine's debut film 1983, the director joined hands with Nivin Pauly for Action Hero Biju that was released on 4 February, 2016. The film had a slow opening but gained momentum at box office after getting good reviews from audience and critics. The film received wide applauds in Tamil Nadu too. The film ran over 100 days in theatres and grossed 17.2 crores from Kerala alone. The movie was a very realistic, subtle and fun-filled police story.
8. Movie: Maheshinte Prathikaaram
Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Aparna Balamurali, Anusree, Alencier Ley Lopez
Budget: Rs 4 crore
Dileesh Pothen's directorial debut Maheshinte Prathikaaram, which was released on 5 February, 2016, was one of the most talked about film as it was tagged as the perfect comeback of actor Fahadh Faasil after a series of flops. The film performed steadily in Kerala and had a run of over 125 days in some theatres, It played for more than 50 days in Chennai. The movie was also the highest earning Malayalam film at the United States and UK box office. The movie collected Rs 17.35 crores in Kerala. With brilliant cinematography, realistic setting, amazing performances and soothing music, the film was a well-packed entertainer.
9. Movie: Kali
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Sai Pallavi, Chemban Vinod
Budget: 4-4.50 crore
The movie, released on 26 March, 2016, directed by Sameer Thahir was one of the most anticipated movies as it was the second collaboration of Thahir and Dulquer Salmaan, after Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi. The film ranked on the top spot among Malayalam movies with maximum opening-day collection by earning approximately Rs 2.33 crore on the first day. The film collected Rs 16.4 crore from Kerala box office. Kali was credited for being a visually appealing romantic thriller, which kept the viewers engaged from the beginning till the climax.
10. Movie: Anuraga Karikkin Vellam
Cast: Biju Menon, Asha Sarath, Asif Ali, Rajisha Vijayan
Budget: Rs 2.50 crore
Anuraga Karikkin Vellam, directed by debutant Khalid Rahman, was released on 7 July, 2016 and received extremely positive reviews. The movie, which hit the theatres as an Eid special release, made a decent opening at the box office by collecting Rs 1.21 crores in the first three days. Within the first 10 days, the movie made Rs 5.21 crores. Interestingly, Anuraga Karikkin Vellam has bagged more than 60 lakhs, just from the multiplexes of Ernakulam district in 10 days. The movie collected approximately Rs 7.9 crores share from Kerala box office.
The surprise winner: Happy Wedding
Cast: Sharafudheen, Willson Joseph, Soubin Shahir
Budget: Rs 2 crore
Happy Wedding, which was released on 20 May, 2016, was directed by debutante Omar Lulu. Despite being a low budget movie, Happy Wedding turned out to be a surprise hit. The movie collected a gross amount of Rs 13.70 crore from the worldwide box offices. From 35 screens, the number of screens was later increased to 130 throughout the country.