OPINION: With films like Kalki 2898 AD, Aavesham, Premalu and Manjummel Boys, South Indian cinema has set tone for 2024

As we reach the end of the first half of 2024, let us look back at the South Indian films which have dominated the box office this year, starting with films like Premalu, Aavesham, and Kalki 2898 AD.

S Devasankar
Written by S Devasankar , Journalist
Updated on Jun 29, 2024 | 04:34 PM IST | 72.5K
OPINION: With films like Kalki 2898 AD, Aavesham, South cinema sets tone for 2024
OPINION: With films like Kalki 2898 AD, Aavesham, Premalu and Manjummel Boys, South Indian cinema has set tone for 2024 (PC. Pinkvilla)

As the first half of 2024 comes to an end, it is safe to say that South Indian films have been some of the most talked-about movies nationwide this year. Starting with the Dhanush starrer Captain Miller, to Prashanth Varma’s HanuMan, and Naslen’s Premalu, there is no doubt the southern film industries started with a bang.

Additionally, with films like Bramayugam, which features Megastar Mammootty in the lead, and most recently Nag Ashwin’s pan-Indian film Kalki 2898 AD, the South Indian industries have explored and experimented with a multitude of different genres as well. As we approach the year’s mid-way mark, let us take a look back at the journey the Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada film industries have had so far this year. 

A magnificent first half for Malayalam cinema

Arguably, the most talked-about industry this year is the Malayalam film industry, which produced blockbuster films like Premalu, Manjummel Boys, Bramayugam, Aavesham, Aadujeevitham, and more in just six months. 

However, the industry’s first film of the year, the intense drama film Aattam, helmed by Anand Ekarshi, undoubtedly set the bar high for the films coming out this year. Although the film went under-noticed during its theatrical run, it garnered widespread praise and recognition following its OTT release. 


The success of Aattam was followed by the Jayaram starrer Abraham Ozler, which received mixed to positive reviews from the audience. Further, the month of January also saw the release of the highly anticipated collaboration between Mohanlal and Lijo Jose Pellissery, titled Malaikottai Vaaliban. However, the film garnered mixed responses.

Malaikottai Vaaliban (PC. IMDb)

It was the month of February that brought nationwide recognition to the industry. The month began with a clash between the Tovino Thomas starrer Anweshippin Kandethum and the Naslen and Mamita Baiju starrer Premalu. The latter, a coming-of-age love story, captured the hearts of fans all around the nation, and was even released in Telugu by SS Rajamouli’s son, SS Karthikeya.

Premalu (PC. IMDb)

Premalu was immediately followed by the Mammootty-starrer horror flick Bramayugam, helmed by Rahul Sadasivan. The film, shot in black and white, garnered massive praise from audiences around the country. 

A week after Bramayugam, another blockbuster film from the southern industry, Manjummel Boys. The film, which had Soubin Shahir and Sreenath Bhasi in the lead roles, was based on a true story that transpired in 2006. The film went on to be re-released in Telugu as well.


Towards the end of March, the Prithviraj Sukumaran starrer Aadujeevitham (The Goat Life) came out. The movie had been in the making for close to 16 years and was based on real-life events as well. April saw the release of arguably the biggest Malayalam film this year so far—the Fahadh Faasil starrer Aavesham. The gangster comedy film, which had FaFa as the eccentric Ranganna, received critical as well as commercial praise.

Aavesham (PC. IMDb)

The same day as Aavesham, Vineeth Sreenivasan’s highly talked-about film, Varshangalkku Shesham, which featured Dhyan Sreenivasan and Pranav Mohanlal in the lead roles, hit the silver screens as well. However, the film garnered mixed responses from the audience.

The Malayalam film industry has also come out with several other films like Guruvayoor Ambalanadayil, Thalavan, and more recently, the post-apocalyptic sci-fi comedy Gaganachari, as well as the drama film Ullozhukku.

Needless to say, the industry is gearing up for more releases like Ajayante Randam Moshanam, Paradise and even the Mohanlal starrer L2: Lucifer.


Tamil industry’s year so far

The Tamil film industry, known as Kollywood, has had its fair share of ups and downs this year so far. The year started with the release of the Dhanush starrer Captain Miller, which received positive reviews from fans and audiences alike. On the same day as Captain Miller, Sivakarthikeyan’s sci-fi film Ayalaan, as well as Sriram Raghavan’s bilingual film Merry Christmas, were released as well.

Captain Miller (PC. IMDb)

Following this, several films garnered positive reviews from the audience, including Mission: Chapter 1, Blue Star, and Singapore Saloon. However, one of the most talked-about films of the year, the Rajinikanth starrer Lal Salaam, helmed by the superstar’s daughter Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth, failed to leave a mark at the box office. 

The month of February also saw the release of the Jayam Ravi starrer Siren, which received mixed responses from the audience. On March 1st, ace director Gautham Vasudev Menon returned to the silver screen with his action flick Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha. 

In March, the GV Prakash and Mamitha Baiju starrer Rebel also hit the silver screens, but received mixed responses. However, in May this year, the fourth film in Sundar C’s Aranmanai franchise was released. The film, which featured Tamannaah Bhatia, Raashi Khanna, and Yogi Babu in prominent roles, received widespread acclaim from the audience.


May also saw the release of the coming-of-age romantic film Star. Furthermore, quite recently, Vijay Sethupathi’s 50th venture as a lead actor, Maharaja, hit the silver screens. The film received widespread acclaim from fans and critics alike, who also praised the raw violence in the film.

Maharaja (PC. IMDb)

However, the first six months of the year are just a trailer for what is to come for the Tamil film industry. Tollywood is gearing up for the release of some of the most awaited films of the year, including Kamal Haasan, Siddharth starrer Indian 2, Suriya’s Kanguva, Thalapathy Vijay’s The Greatest of All Time, Rajinikanth’s Vettaiyan, Ajith Kumar’s VidaaMuyarchi, Dhanush’s Raayan, and Chiyaan Vikram’s Thangalaan, all of which are slated to hit the silver screens in the second half of the year. 

A Heroic first half for Telugu cinema

The Telugu film industry has undoubtedly come up with some of the biggest blockbusters of the year so far. The year started with the release of Mahesh Babu’s highly anticipated film, Guntur Kaaram. On the same day, Prasanth Varma’s superhero film, HanuMan, which features Teja Sajja in the lead role, hit the silver screens as well. The film went on to become one of the most appreciated films of the year so far.


HanuMan (PC. IMDb)

In the following days, Venkatesh Daggubati’s Saindhav and Nagarjuna Akkineni’s Naa Saami Ranga hit the big screens as well. In February of this year, Ravi Teja’s highly anticipated film Eagle hit the silver screens and garnered widespread recognition. Additionally, the Mammootty starrer Yatra 2, the much-awaited sequel to the 2019 film Yatra, was released as well.

March began with the release of Varun Tej’s latest film with Manushi Chhillar, titled Operation Valentine. The film, based on true events, received highly positive reviews owing to its making. Further, the month saw the release of Gopichand Mallineni starrer Bhima, Vishwak Sen’s Gaami, and Siddhu Jonnalagadda’s Tillu Square as well. 

For Tollywood, the second quarter of 2024 began with the release of Vijay Deverakonda and Mrunal Thakur starrer Family Star. However, the film, helmed by Parasuram, garnered mixed responses at the time of release. The industry has also seen the release of films like Gangs of Godavari and Satyabhama, both of which garnered widespread acclaim.

On June 27th, one of the most anticipated films of recent times, Rebel Star Prabhas’ maiden collaboration with director Nag Ashwin, titled Kalki 2898 AD, hit the silver screens. The mythological science fiction film wreaked havoc at the box office owing to its star cast and the technical aspects of the film.

Kalki 2898 AD (PC. IMDb)

Overall, it has been a healthy first half of 2024 for the Telugu film industry. However, there is no doubt that the industry is about to blow up in the next half, with some of the biggest films of the year set to come out. Starting with Dulquer Salmaan starrer Lucky Bhaskar, other prominent films like Jr. NTR’s Devara, Ram Charan’s Game Changer and even the Allu Arjun and Rashmika Mandanna starrer Pushpa 2: The Rule are all set to grace the silver screens later this year. 

The Kannada film industry in 2024 so far

In comparison to the other South Indian industries, the Kannada film industry has had a more low-key first half of 2024. But that is not to say that the industry hasn’t come out with some of the most entertaining films of the year so far.

The Sandalwood industry started with the Diganth starrer Bachelor Party, which was bankrolled by Rakshit Shetty. The film, which was released in January this year, garnered widespread acclaim at the time of release. Following this, the much-appreciated Chikkanna starrer Upadhyaksha also hit the silver screens. The film has been one of the most profitable films in the industry so far.


Upadhyakasha (PC. IMDb)

Further, Abhi Das’ romantic drama flick Naguvina Hoogala Mele also hit theaters earlier this year. In March this year, the Dheekshith Shetty starrer Blink hit the silver screens and garnered positive responses from cinephiles. The Aruna Balraj-starrer romantic comedy flick Chow Chow Bath was also released the same month. March ended with the release of the action drama film Yuva, which is one of the most profitable films in the industry this year so far.

In April of this year, the crime thriller film Night Curfew, helmed by Venshi Ravindra, hit the silver screens. The film is considered one of the best in its genre and has been praised by fans and critics alike. Further, the Dhananjaya-starrer Kotee was released in June this year. 

The film industry is gearing up for more successful releases this year, with films like Prajwal Devaraj starrer Mafia, Shiva Rajkumar starrer Bhairathi Ranagal, and even Dhruva Sarja starrer Martin being in the pipeline.


It can be said without a shadow of a doubt that within the first six months of 2024, the South Indian film industries have set the benchmark for the quality of films in the country. And needless to say, by the looks of it, the trend ought to continue in the second half of the year as well. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that 2024 will go down in history as one of the best years of South Indian cinema.

ALSO READ: OPINION: After films like Premalu, Bramayugam and Manjummel Boys, South Cinema looks forward to a recording-breaking 2024

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A graduate in Economics, with heart made of cinema, Devasankar is vividly in love with world cinema! A true



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