July 13, 2024
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Nigerian cinemas smash records; Funke Akindele’s film reigns supreme!

Funke Akindele

Scene from "A Tribe called Judah."

A recent report reveals that Nigerian cinemas experienced a phenomenal surge in revenue, grossing over 7.2 billion naira in 2023 from more than 2.6 million admissions. Nollywood dominated the market, securing a remarkable 39 percent market share, marking a seven percent year-on-year increase compared to 2022.

According to data from The Industry, a film insights publication, the earnings surpassed the 2022 figure by over 416 million naira, highlighting the industry’s robust growth. In 2023, cinemas expanded to a total of 70 locations, up from 64 in the previous year, showcasing a dynamic landscape.

A significant contributor to this financial triumph was Funke Akindele’s ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ which etched its name in history by becoming the first Nollywood film to surpass the one billion dollar mark in cinema earnings. The film alone accounted for over 14 per cent of the total gross, underscoring its immense popularity and box office success.

Despite this achievement, Akindele’s earlier project, ‘Omo Ghetto: The Saga’ (2020), still holds the record for the most admissions recorded for a Nollywood film, with 449,901 entries. The film played a pivotal role in revitalising the cinema scene post-lockdown and attracting new audiences.

The report raises thought-provoking questions about the correlation between ticket prices and actual cinema habit growth. Notably, the journal states, “If released in the same period as A Tribe Called Judah, with an average ticket price at N3,700, it’d have made over N1.6bn,” emphasising the impact of ticket prices on revenue.

Comparative analysis of international releases, such as the Black Panther franchise, highlights the influence of ticket prices and screening locations on box office success. The report notes that cinemas have been adjusting prices at a rapid rate, prompting audiences to weigh their decisions more carefully.

In 2023, nine other films also achieved notable success, grossing over 50 million naira each, including ‘Malaika,’ ‘Ada Omo Daddy,’ ‘Orisa,’ ‘Merry Men 3,’ ‘Kesari,’ ‘Something Like Gold,’ ‘The Kujus Again,’ ‘Afamefuna,’ and ‘A Weekend To Forget.’

The remarkable performance of the Nigerian cinema industry in 2023 reflects its resilience and continued popularity, setting the stage for further growth and innovation in the coming years.

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