Kollywood, the Tamil film industry, is a major player in the South Indian filmmaking scene and churns out numerous blockbusters every year. In 2023, the highly anticipated clash between ‘Varisu’ and ‘Thunivu’, both of which performed well at the box office, took place in January. Thalapathy Vijay’s ‘Varisu’ emerged as the winner, grossing 300 Cr worldwide and becoming the fifth highest-grossing Tamil film globally, surpassing the lifetime collections of Rajinikanth’s ‘Enthiran’. Meanwhile, Ajith’s ‘Thunivu’ grossed 200 Cr worldwide. Both movies currently hold the record for the highest-grossing Tamil movies in 2023. As audiences eagerly await the upcoming Tamil movies expected to shake up the box office, this article takes a closer look at the highest-grossing Tamil movies of 2023 and of all time.
Pushpa's success at the box office, especially in the Hindi belt, has led to south Indian filmmakers, including those from Tamil Nadu, releasing their films at a pan-India level. This resulted in the 2022 release of Tamil movies Valimai, Beast, PS1, and Vikram, which also went on to break records at the box office. Ponniyin Selvan-Part One and Vikram were especially successful, both securing a spot on the all-time highest-grossing Tamil movie list. The top 10 highest-grossing list is currently dominated by Superstar Rajinikanth and Thalapathy Vijay, who has the most movies on the list, showcasing their immense popularity and fan following in the Tamil film industry.
"2.0" is an action-packed movie that features Rajinikanth in the lead role while Akshay Kumar portrays the antagonist. Directed by S. Shankar, the film is a standalone sequel to the 2010 blockbuster "Enthiran." It holds the record for being the highest-grossing Tamil movie of all time. The movie was made on a budget of around Rs 500-570 crores and grossed approximately Rs 825-850 crores globally, including its earnings from the Chinese box office. The movie offers a visual treat to the viewers with its stunning special effects and intense action sequences.
"Ponniyin Selvan: Part One (PS1)" is a highly anticipated movie that was released on September 30, 2022. The film features a star-studded cast including Vikram, Karthi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, and Sobhita Dhulipala. PS1 set a new benchmark for the Tamil cinema industry by becoming the highest-grossing film in Tamil Nadu's domestic market. It crossed the 450 crore mark in just 17 days of its release worldwide, and it is believed to have accumulated a gross of 488-500 Cr in its entire run, making it the second-highest-grossing Tamil film of all time. Fans are eagerly awaiting the second part of the movie, set to release in the summer of 2023.
"Vikram" is an action thriller directed by Lokes Kanagraj, featuring Kamala Hassan, Vijay Sethupathi, and Fahadh Faasil in the lead roles. It is the second installment in director Lokesh's cinematic universe after "Kaithi" (2019). The movie ranks third on the list of the highest-grossing Tamil films, grossing around 426 crores worldwide, with profits of over 200 crores for its distributors. The film features a gripping storyline, adrenaline-pumping action sequences, and brilliant performances by the cast.
"Bigil" is a sports action movie that was released in 2019, with Thalapathy Vijay in the lead role. Directed by Atlee, who previously collaborated with Vijay in "Theri" and "Mersal," the film showcases Vijay in a dual role as a coach and a gangster. The movie was made on a budget of Rs 140 crores and grossed a massive Rs 310 crores at the worldwide box office, securing the fourth spot in the list of highest-grossing Tamil movies. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is set to star in Atlee's next project, titled "Jawan."
Varisu is a 2023 Tamil movie that has created a buzz at the box office with its family-friendly entertainment. Starring Thalapathy Vijay and Rashmika Mandanna in lead roles, the movie is a perfect blend of drama, romance, and action. Vijay's fans are thrilled to see their favorite star in a new avatar, and Rashmika's performance is being praised by the critics. The movie has a heartwarming storyline that explores the bond between a father and son. The music, composed by A.R. Rahman, is another highlight of the movie, with its soulful melodies and peppy beats. Overall, Varisu is a must-watch for all Vijay fans and anyone looking for a wholesome family movie.
Enthiran is a landmark movie in Indian cinema, which broke several records at the box office. Starring Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Danny Danzongpa, the movie was a sci-fi thriller that showcased the power of technology and its consequences. The special effects and action sequences were ahead of their time, and the movie set a new standard for visual effects in Indian cinema. Rajinikanth's portrayal of the robot Chitti was praised by audiences and critics alike, and his chemistry with Aishwarya was sizzling. Enthiran remains a classic in Indian cinema and is a must-watch for all sci-fi fans.
Kabali is an action-packed movie that features Rajinikanth as a gangster seeking revenge against his enemies. The movie explores the themes of love, loyalty, and betrayal, and features some gripping action sequences. Radhika Apte and Sai Dhanshika deliver solid performances, and the movie's direction by Pa. Ranjith is top-notch. The movie's soundtrack, composed by Santhosh Narayanan, is another highlight, with its unique blend of rap and traditional Tamil music. Overall, Kabali is a thrilling ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Sarkar is a political thriller that stars Vijay as a business tycoon who takes on corrupt politicians. Directed by A.R. Murugados, the movie explores the power of democracy and the importance of voting. Vijay delivers a powerful performance, and his screen presence is electrifying. The movie's music, composed by A.R. Rahman, is catchy and adds to the movie's energy. The movie's climax is a nail-biting sequence that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Overall, Sarkar is a well-made movie that combines politics, action, and drama in a thrilling package.
Mersal is an action-packed thriller that features Thalapathy Vijay in a triple role. The movie explores the themes of corruption, healthcare, and patriotism, and features some stunning action sequences. S.J. Suryah delivers a strong performance as the movie's antagonist, and the three leading ladies - Nithya Menon, Kajal Aggarwal, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu - add charm to the movie. The movie's music, composed by A.R. Rahman, is a mix of peppy numbers and soulful melodies. Overall, Mersal is a thrilling ride that showcases Vijay's acting prowess and Atlee's directorial skills.
Petta is a Tamil-language action drama film directed by Karthik Subbaraj and produced by Kalanithi Maran under his production studio, Sun Pictures. The film features superstar Rajinikanth in the lead role, with an ensemble cast including Vijay Sethupathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Simran, Trisha Krishnan, M. Sasikumar, Bobby Simha, Sananth Reddy, and Megha Akash in pivotal roles.
Darbar is a 2020 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film directed by A.R. Murugadoss and produced by Allirajah Subaskaran under the banner of Lyca Productions. The film stars Rajinikanth in the lead role as Aaditya Arunasalam, the Commissioner of Mumbai Police, along with Nayanthara, Nivetha Thomas, and Sunil Shetty in pivotal roles.
The film was released on January 9, 2020, coinciding with the Pongal festival, and received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. However, it was a commercial success and grossed around Rs. 250 crores worldwide at the box office, becoming one of the highest-grossing Tamil films of 2020.