After a Poor 2020, Here are the Top Cinema Trends to Watch Out for in 2021


2020 was a difficult year for Box Offices across the world. The pandemic closed Cinemas for a better part of the year, forcing several blockbuster movie releases to be delayed.

Nigeria was no different as the country’s Box Office numbers dropped drastically from last years record-breaking figures. The amount of money Nigerians spent on movie tickets fell from N6.7 billion in 2019 to just N1.6 billion during the year.

From 3D, Virtual Screening and Streaming, film making has come a long way in the past decade.

Nollywood movies now on Netflix, Virtual Cinema, Hybrid Movie Release; Top Cinema Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

With cinemas behind bars, 2020 saw a boom in streaming services and an evolution in how movies were released. Looking at the changes in the industry, here some likely trends to expect in the coming year.

Hybrid Movie Release

In the last decade, the cinema was all about going big: bigger screens, bigger franchises and blockbusters etc. Most high grossing movies had a big screen unveil with an exclusive limited time view in theatres before it hits the discs or streaming platform.

However, that is all changing now. The pandemic has forced movie makers to think of innovative ways to bypass the closure of the big screen. Warner Bros, for instance, is working on a combination of theatrical releases and HBO Max streaming debuts for dozens of new superhero movies and TV shows for the next few years.

Wonder Woman 1984 was released on both theaters and HBO Max

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With Warner Bros leading the way, there is huge possibility for movie makers to follow in their steps.

Increasing love for localised content

Authentic storytelling can transcend borders, and there’s now a growing demand for African content across the world. 

This year, a lot more local content made it into Netflix and other streaming platforms. With a notable few like Òlòtūré and Citation gaining international traction and applause.

Over the next five years, it is estimated that Netflix and Amazon will spend an annual total of more than $20 billion on original content.

More animations will enter the top 10 grossing movies

Many popular films in the last 5 year have veered towards superhero and family-friendly themes. However, in the last year, animations have also been quickly gaining traction even on the big screen.

Several animations made it into the top list of grossing movies in 2020. Sonic the Hedgehog was ranked 4th on Box office this year raking in $310.6 million. Similarly, Legend of Deification, another animation ranked 6th with $240.6 million.

For next year, there is a high probability that more animations will make it into the top 10 grossing movies of the year.

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Virtual Cinema

Oculus and Playstation sparked the new age of Virtual Reality in gaming with the release of gaming headsets. But the release of VR didn’t end there as it has been spreading to other fields like project designing and movies.

People now watch films in virtual auditoriums, even with fellow users who have rented the same movie as you. Although some people pushed away 3D partly because of its weight and the discomfort of its glasses, the advent of 4D which puts a person into the story could be a new way to consume blockbusters.

In Summary

It’s possible that movie trends may very well change direction based on their publicity campaigns and market trends. However, with billions of dollars potentially at stake, movie makers may decide to make changes that align with the current norm of remote working.

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