Tamil Cinema contributed to the biggest hits of Indian cinema in the 10s. With ambitious storytelling, and unabashed love for its audience, these movies starred some of the biggest actors in the country who were able to make a mark among people who didn’t watch regional cinema. From big budget fantasy epics, to crime dramas to progressive sport narratives, Tamil cinema gave a lot to savor to the people. And in return, the people gave their love back to these mass products.
Here is the list of the highest grossing Tamil movies:
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, 2017
Directed by S. S. Rajamouli and written with his father, K. V. Vijayendra Prasad, this sequel to the blockbuster, Baahubali: The Beginning shattered all the box office records when it was released on 28th April 2017. As a continuation of the story from the first movie, Baahubali 2 was one of the most awaited projects of the decade because it would resolve the mystery about why Katappa killed Baahubali. Epic, and mounted on a big budget, the sequel enchanted the audience even more and wreaked havoc on the box office. At the end, with 1810 crores, it became the highest grossing Indian movie ever. It also made Prabhas into a national star, and helped him gain massive fan following.
A standalone sequel to Enthiran, 2.0 was directed by S. Shankar and starred Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson. 2.0 followed Rajinikanth’s robot, Chitti, as a faces Pakshi Rajan, played by Akshay Kumar, a former ornithologist who is trying to seek revenge on human beings for using cellphones and contributing to the decline in avian population. Praised for its special effects, performances and message, the movie blew its competition out of the water and grossed 117 crores at the box office on the first day of its release. At the end, it totaled to a healthy 821 crores.
Baahubali: The Beginning, 2015
S. S. Rajamouli’s fantasy epic starring Prabhas changed the Indian filmmaking forever. When it was first announced, there were a lot of skeptics who thought the movie was a risk because of its heavy use of CGI effects and regional language. It was the most expensive Indian movie, at a budget of over 180 crores. It proved everyone wrong, and had a bumper opening at the box office; it made 650 crores at the end of its theatrical run which made it the highest grossing movie in India, until its sequel came along.
An action thriller starring Prabhas and Bollywood star, Shraddha Kapoor, Saaho was one of the most expensive movies made in India; with a reported budget of 350 crores. However, with its impressive action sequences won the hearts of the audience and it was able to gain back its money and make a profit, ending its run at 433 crores.
Rajinikanth was introduced to the audience as the robot Chitti in this movie. S. Shankar directed the tale of a robot and his fight with the evils of the society. Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai Bachchan also had a role in the movie. Enthiran was considered a risk by many, but it easily overcame the regional obstacles and came out as a winner, with a surprising 290 crores at the box office, making it the highest grossing movie in India for some years.
A crime drama directed by Pa. Ranjith, and starring Rajinikanth in the lead role, Kabali made a healthy 286 crores at the box office. Indie actress, Radikha Apte got a lot of praise for her performance as Rajinikanth’s wife.
A sports-action movie directed by the pro masala director Atlee Kumar, Bigil starred Vijay, Nayanthara, and Jackie Shroff in prominent roles. It was praised for its progressive themes, like feminism, and women’s rights, performance of Vijay and the direction by Atlee. Bigil emerged as one of the biggest hits of 2019, with 300 crores gross at the box office.
Starring Vijay and Nithya Menon in the lead roles, this action thriller by Atlee Kumar proved to be a super hit among the audiences, claiming 260 crores at the box office. The plot of Mersal revolves around twin brothers, who have their separate storylines that connect in surprising ways. A. R Rahman gave the music for the movie, and was praised by the critics and audience alike.
A. R. Murugadoss directed this political thriller with Vijay in the lead, and the efforts were visibly successful, with a 260 crores haul at the box office. However, the movie was plagued with a lot of controversies, pre and post its release; about plagiarized storyline and political affiliations of the makers. At the end, critics praised Vijay’s performance but criticized the screenplay and Murugadoss’s direction.
Rajinikanth returned to the screens with this action thriller. Petta was directed by Karthik Subbraj, and starring Vijay Sethupati, Simran, Trisha, and Nawazuddin Siddqui in supporting roles, it was a blockbuster hit, making 250 crores at the B.O.
In this masala entertainer directed by Siva, Ajith Kumar starred as a rough shot who has to resolve the complications in his marriage. The movie was loved by the audience for its performances and music, and grossed 184 crores worldwide.
Produced by superstar Dhanush, Kaala starred Rajinikanth as Karikaalan, or Kaala who lives in the Dharavi area of Mumbai and wants to protect his people from the outside threats. Nana Patekar and Huma Quereshi played supporting roles in the movie. Despite its grisly storyline, Kaala impressed the viewers and made 168 crores at the Box office.