Sophia Paul: Founder Of Mollywood’s Favourite WeekendBlockbusters

Sophia Paul is the founder of WeekendBlockbusters, the production house behind films like Bangalore Days and Minnal Murali.

Sophia Paul is the founder of WeekendBlockbusters, the production house behind your favourite films like Bangalore Days and Minnal Murali. Find out more about her, here!

The latest Onam release RDX- a Malayalam film that hit theatres without huge promotions and broke the box office grossing over ₹100 Crores started streaming on Netflix!

The star-cast action-thriller film revolves around Robert, Dony, and Xavier stared by Shane Nigam, Antony Varghese Pepe, and Neeraj Madhav respectively with goosebump fight scenes, a love story, and family drama.

RDX is the directorial debut of Nahas Hidayath said in an interview, “Many people called my producer from backing out from the picture, but Sophia Paul determined to go ahead”.

How did Sophia Paul’s WeekendBlockbusters capture the public’s attention?

Sophia Paul is not a new name in the industry, and it is not the first time she worked with young filmmakers. The founder of WeekendBlockbusters– a Kollam, Kerala-based Production house tagged their name with their debut venture as co-producers with Anwar Rasheed Entertainments in the Anjali Menon film Bangalore Days (2014).

Bangalore Days, was a huge hit in Mollywood, the film starred Dulquer Salman, Nazriya Nazim, Nivin Pauly, Nithya Menen, Fahad Fazil, Isha Talwar, and a long list of renowned cast. Following its success, the film was remade into Tamil and now into Hindi with slight changes in the story under the name Yaariyan-2.

Her next project is the OTT release— Minnal Murali (2021-streaming on Netflix). A light-hearted superhero film directed by Basil Joseph and stared at by Tovino Thomas in the title role, established the name Sophia Paul and her production company globally.

With 6 top hits in the industry over Nine years, Paul and her WeekendBlockbusters keep full truth to the brand! From International Film Festivals to Crore Clubs! The Journey of Sophia Paul’s WeekendBlockbusters.

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International recognition

From a commercial debut, the production house changed its tracks next and produced its first independent film— an intense political drama, Kaadu Pookkunna Neram (2016), directed by Dr. Biju, stared by Indrans, Indrajith Sukumaran, Rima Kallingal. The film is centred on the marginalization of Dalits and Adivasis, played at more than half a dozen international film festivals, including a premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival.

The next production, Mohanlal-Meena starred  Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol (2017), released a record 337 screens across the country, emerging as one of the most profitable Malayalam films of all time, cemented Paul’s place as a powerful film producer in the industry. The film also earned Mohanlal the National Film – Special Jury Award.

Her third project, Padayottam (2018), a dark comedy with Biju Menon in the lead, didn’t meet anticipated success, but it gradually garnered a cult status over time.

A superhero flick ‘Minnal Murali’ — the fifth project of the house -(un)fortunately could not be a theatrical release due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The ‘great regret of the team’ was heavily balanced when the film’s digital streaming rights were acquired by Netflix and officially released in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and English.

The film achieved the Global Top 10 (Non-English) list and became a sensational worldwide hit! For the film, Basil Joseph won the Asian Academy Creatives Award for Best Director (Fiction). Through Minnal Murali, not only WeekendBlockbusters but also the entire industry’s bar sets high!

RDX is the 6th venture under production, grossing over ₹100 crore worldwide and over ₹50 crore from Kerala alone. It became the second highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year and is currently one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films.

So who is Sophia Paul?

founder of WeekendBlockbuster

Living in the UAE since 1986 as a successful entrepreneur, Paul pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Fatima Mata National College, Kollam. Married at the age of 19 and migrated to the UAE, watching movies was the favourite time for the Kollam girl!

The 48-year-old, with a lot of pride, fondly remembers her father, a businessman, who liked to treat his kids by taking them to the neighborhood theatre. “We all loved movies,” she says. “The only reason we decided to step into production was because all of us are hardcore film buffs!” Paul added.

Wife of James Paul and mother of two sons: Cebin Paul and Kevin Paul, Paul has never failed to address the support from her family.

In an interview, she says, “The company is about all of us. I take every decision in consultation with them. We knew about the risks involved and had to take every step cautiously. But cinema is a passion for us, and we were looking for an opportunity to enter the industry. That’s when we came in touch with Anwar Rasheed. He is my sons’ favourite director, and he asked us if we would co-produce his next venture, Bangalore Days.” And, WeekendBlockbusters was founded in 2014.

Along with being successful in cinema, Paul has recently ventured into the restaurant business by launching Tamarind Terrace in Karama, redefining Kerala cuisine in the UAE with a chic ambience and imaginative menu.

In an interview, Paul shared, “Even in our business, my husband and I have taken things (in our stride) and moved forward. If there is an up, there is a down, and we have to face it.” In 2018, the family welcomed their second daughter-in-law, Aima Rosmy Sebastian—an actress from the industry.

Let us wait for another blockbuster from Sophia Paul, who always remains self-assured in her ability to deliver significant cinematic achievements.

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Image source: Credit to South Live, edited on CnavaPro

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