South films in 2022
Here’s a look at the top 5 films from Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinema that broke box-office records

RRR, KGF-2, Bheeshma Parvam & Ponniyan Selvan: South films rewrite box-office rules

2022 has been a rocking year for the Southern Indian film industry at a pan-India level. Even as Bollywood filmmakers were coming to grips with the changing tastes of filmgoers fearing losses with each release, most South Indian films sailed through raking in the moolah at the box office.

Here’s a look at the top films from Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam that broke box-office records.

Kannada films

KGF Chapter 2

The Kannada film industry feels that 2022 brought back the golden era of Kannada cinema, thanks to Rocky Bhai from KGF Chapter 2. The first instalment created a brand for Yash and the KGF franchise became famous. Luckily, the sequel like Baahubali lived up to the expectations of the audiences when it hit theatres on April 14th, 2022. The movie was a massive hit in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. As per reports by several trade analysts, the movie produced by Hombale films, mopped up approximately ₹1,250 crore worldwide, making it the second-biggest grosser in Indian cinema so far.


Another Kannada film that took everyone by surprise was Kantara, which was truly the sleeper hit of the year after its release on September 30th, 2022. This film was also produced by Hombale films and had Rishab Shetty and Sapthami Gowda playing the lead, while Achyuth Kumar and Kishore had important roles to play. The film was deeply rooted in the coastal Karnataka region and was made on a comparatively small budget of ₹16 crores.

Kantara, year ender 2022The film was released along with Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Ponniyan Selvan: 1 and had little or no promotional activity. However, the film took off after the first week and the makers were forced to dub and release the film in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi by the end of the second week. The movie became a blockbuster in all languages and is estimated to have collected a little over ₹400 crore. Kantara is a prime example that a film can do wonders at the box office through word-of-mouth publicity.

Vikrant Rona

Multi-lingual actor and Kannada superstar Kichcha Sudeep’s film Vikrant Rona is undoubtedly one of the big blockbuster films in Kannada in 2022. The action-thriller film saw a pan-India release on July 28, 2022 but failed to do well outside of Kannada and Telugu-speaking states. As per reports, the movie was made on a budget of ₹75 crore and managed to collect a little over ₹115 crores.

Charlie 777

Rakshit Shetty starrer Charlie 777 is an adventure-comedy drama that saw the ‘simple star’ trying to tell the story of the relationship that develops between a frustrated man and a dog. The film received great reviews but the movie was a tad too long. As per reports, the film collected nearly ₹ 105 crore at the box office.


James was Puneeth Rajkumar’s last full-length commercial film that hit theatres after his death in 2021. Puneeth had not even dubbed for the film. The movie saw a massive opening but received mixed reviews from fans and critics. However, his fans showered their favourite star with love by thronging to the theatres and the movie collected ₹95 crore at the box office.

Also read: Avatar 2: What explains meagre number of shows for Kannada version?

Tamil films

Ponniyan Selvan: 1

Ponniyan Selvan 1, year 2022Ace director Mani Ratnam’s historical drama Ponniyin Selvan: 1 turned out to be a blockbuster and the makers made money from all corners of the country. The film featured Jayam Ravi in the role of Arulmozhivarman, while Vikram, Karthi, Trisha and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played other key roles. PS:1 was one of the pan-India films that was released and the film managed to collect over ₹500 crore at the box office. However, the film failed to impress people in the Hindi belt.


It won’t be wrong to say that Ulaganayan Kamal Hassan was almost written off by film Industry insiders after the star had delivered back-to-back flops. He even failed to make a mark in politics. Fortunately for him, his comeback movie Vikram directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj catapulted him back to the top of the game once again. The film had Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil in lead roles and Suriya in a cameo. The film collected a whopping ₹300 crore at the globally. This film too failed to make much of an impact in the Hindi belt but ensured that it got Kamal Hassan out of debt, as the actor himself confessed.


Ilayapathy Vijay’s Beast, directed by Nelson, had created a lot of excitement when it was announced. However, the film received poor reviews from fans and critics when it hit the screens earlier this year. The film was even criticised by Vijay’s father Chandrashekar who blamed the director Nelson for not doing his homework on cross-border terrorism. However, Vijay’s stardom and huge fan following helped not to ruin the film’s box-office collection. Reports said the movie made a whopping ₹250 crores at the box office.


Thalapathy Ajith’s latest Valimai, directed by H Vinoth, was high on action even though it had a predictable storyline. The film was about a fearless cop who brings down a crime gang. The biggest letdown in the film was the family angle but the audience was glued to the mind-boggling action scenes. However, Ajith’s mass appeal and legendary fan following helped the movie hit the ₹200 crore club. As per reports, the film’s box office collection was nearly ₹234 crore.


Cibi Chakravarthi’s directorial starring Sivakarthikeyan’s campus drama was a predictable and relatable film. The movie about a relationship between a father-son-college professor was high on comedy. As per reports, the film crossed the ₹100 crore club making it Sivakarthiyan’s second movie to hit that milestone.

Also read: 2022: The year the tide turned in favour of Kannada film industry

Telugu films

RRR, year ender 2022RRR

SS Rajamouli’s unapologetic heroism and action sequences played a role in the film’s thunderous success. RRR, starring Ram Charan and Jr NTR along with Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhat among others, is undoubtedly the biggest film of Indian cinema in 2022. The film was released amidst a lot of hype, and it surpassed expectations, raking in ₹1,200 crore at the box office. The film was released in Japan recently, and reports claim that it managed to beat the collections of superstar Rajinikanth’s film Muthu.

Sarkaru Vaari Paatu

The Prince of Tollywood lived up to his fame with Sarkaru Vaari Paatu. The movie is arguably Tollywood’s biggest hit after RRR. The film was helmed by director Parusaram Petla and had Keerthy Suresh paired with Mahesh Babu. The film was made on a modest budget of ₹60 crore and raked in ₹230 crore at the box office.

Bheemla Nayak

Tollywood’s Power Star Pawan Kalyan smashed the cliché that remakes don’t work anymore after the pandemic with his film Bheemla Nayak. The movie was a remake of the 2020 Malayalam film Ayyappanum Koshiyum. Directed by Saagar K Chandra, the film had Rana Daggubati and Nithya Menon playing important roles. The film was made on a budget of ₹70 crores and is estimated to have earned ₹160 crore rupees at the box office.

F3 – Fun & Frustration

Victory Venkatesh knows how to draw the family audience to the theatres and he did that once again with his fun-filled comedy film F3- Fun & Frustration. Directed by Anil Ravipudi, the film also stars Varun Tej, Tamannah Bhatia and Mehreen Pirzada in lead roles. Made on a budget of ₹70 crore, the film managed to earn ₹134 crore.

Also read:

Malayalam Films

Bheeshma Parvam,. MammootyBheeshma Parvam

Take a bow, Mammootty! That’s what the audience said when the film hit the screens this year. The film is said to be a fine cocktail of The Godfather and the great epic Mahabharata. Mammooty killed it with his gangster looks and director Amal Neerad is at his career best in this film. Made on a budget of ₹15 crores, it is said the film collected over Rs 75 crore.


Director Khalid Rahman’s Thallumaala, starring Tovino Thomas, Kalyani Priyadarshan and Shine Tom Chacko, is a great experiment in Indian cinema. The movie shows how fist- fighting can be a way of life for some and the repercussions it has on one’s life. Not to forget, it also shows the parallel world of vlogging and social media that surrounds us. The film became known for its extraordinary fight sequences and technical brilliance. Thallumaala is estimated to have earned close to ₹70 crore at the box-office.


Directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan, Hridayam stars Pranav Mohanlal, Darshana Rajendran, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Vijayaraghavan, and others. One comes across many college stories but a few make you nostalgic and Hridayam is one of them. The movie has a simple love story of a boy, his break-ups and his career choices and life after marriage. There are no predictable or unpredictable twists in the film, but the narration with soulful melody tracks makes it a must-watch. According to analysts, the film collected over 70 crore.

Jana Gana Mana

Jana Gana Mana is a legal thriller directed by Dijo Jose Antony starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Pasupathi Raj and others. The film is almost three hours long but it gained fame for its fast-paced narration, gripping dialogues and the topics it chose to highlight like marginalisation and media sensationalism. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and finally asks you to be ready for a sequel. The movie is reported to have collected nearly ₹50 crore at the box office.

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