The Nigerian cinema industry is slowly recovering from the shocking blow of the COVID-19 pandemic after cinemas were re-opened for business.
Data released by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) for October showed that Nigerians spent about N131.2 million on movies. This is the highest monthly revenue recorded by the cinema industry since the lockdown was lifted.
However, the revenue generated is still significantly lower than the amount record before the pandemic. In February cinema earnings across the country was about N412.04 million.
Cinema earnings have been declining since the beginning of the Pandemic. The revenue recorded in February also drop from the N551.9 million spent in January.
Nigerians are returning to Cinemas
Following the widespread COVID-19 pandemic in March, cinemas across the country were forced to shut down due to restrictions by the FG. The shutdown lasted until mid-September in Lagos before cinemas reopened.
After the reopening, Nigerians slowly returned to the cinemas with just 6,491 people spending N7.35 million in the first week. This is a huge drop from the 24,061 moviegoers that spent N28.16 million during the week before the lockdown.
However, during the first week of October, the number of moviegoers improved significantly rising to 39,673 and generating a revenue of N49.67 million.
In the first two weeks of October, the movie Fate of Alakada: The party Planner dominated the Cinemas
By the second week, the number of moviegoers dropped to 37,587, which caused revenue to drop to N44.87 million. The decline continued into the third week as cinema earnings and numbers dropped to N24.56 million and 19,359 respectively.
Similarly, the last week also recorded decline as earnings dropped 51% to N12.1 million with just 10,668 moviegoers. The steady decline in earnings can be attributed to the lack of new blockbusters on screen, the movie Fate of Alakada: The party Planner lost steam in the third week after driving earning in the first two weeks.
During the period, Nollywood movie Fate of Alakada: The party Planner was the highest-grossing movie, raking in N68.01 million. Others like Empire’s Honest Thief, Warner Bros Tenet and Nollywood’s This Lady Called Life raked in N12.98 million, N9.08 million and N7.14 million respectively.
Interestingly, Nollywood movies dominated the chart with movies like Unroyal, Kakanfo, Lemonade, Lagos to Abuja Coach and Rise of the Saints making the Top 15 movies on cinema
Despite spending most of 2020 under lockdown, cinemas still have a great opportunity to rake in millions of Naira this year with the movie frenzy of the festive season just around the corner.
However, it will be impossible for the industry to break the record N6.7 billion spent by moviegoers in 2019.
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