If August showed us anything about the cinema industry in Nigeria, it is that Nollywood still needs to do a lot of work to get the Nigerian audience to their side. Data from the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) shows that the Hollywood movie, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder‘ grossed the most views in the cinema than any other movie in August.
As of August 28, the ‘Thor’ movie recorded a cumulative revenue of ₦351,648,062 after eight weeks in the cinemas. Another Hollywood movie, ‘Bullet Train‘ comes next, recording ₦71,879,303 in revenue.
The Nollywood movies that recorded the most revenue in the period of review are ‘Hey You‘ with a total of ₦35,517,800 (in five weeks), ‘Tiger’s Tail’ with a total of ₦26,525,150 (in six weeks), and ‘The Set Up 2’ with a total of ₦19,868,9065 (three weeks).
July 29 – August 4
Cinema enthusiasts in this period were most interested in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder‘ as the revenue recorded from the movie surpassed revenue from the next four movies combined.
This was the fourth week since ‘Thor’ was released in sixty locations across Nigeria. At the end of this period, the movie recorded a cumulative revenue of ₦285,211,595. The seven-day average for ‘Thor’ during this period is ₦637,401.
At the international box office, ‘Thor’ opened ahead of expectations with $159 million from 47 markets, pushing its global tally to a mighty $302 million. The film cost $250 million to produce and roughly $100 million to promote.
August 5 – 11
‘Bullet Train‘ led cinema viewership by recording total revenue of ₦16,674,916 in the weekend gross (August 5-7) across 56 locations. The average revenue per location for the Hollywood movie is about ₦297,766.
During this period, 6,784 people visited the cinemas across Nigeria, meaning that viewers paid an average of ₦2,500.
The film stars Brad Pitt as a former assassin who must battle fellow killers while riding a fictionalised version of the Tokaido Shinkansen. The film stars an ensemble cast including Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Bad Bunny, and Sandra Bullock.
During this period in review, ‘Bullet Train’ had spent just its first week at the cinemas, so the interest was at a peak level.
For the seven-day period, August 5 – 11, ‘Bullet Train’ recorded ₦27,676,110, and an average of ₦494,216 across 56 cinemas. During this period, 11,620 people visited the cinema for ‘Bullet Train’ alone.
The average price for a ticket was ₦2,500 for all movies in the top 20 most watched movies.
August 12 – 18
‘Beast‘ – rated 5.9/10 on IMDb – led the train this seven-day period, recording a cumulative of ₦20,091,233.
‘Beast’ is a 2022 survival thriller film directed by Baltasar Kormákur, based on a story by Jaime Primak Sullivan. The film stars Idris Elba, Iyana Halley, Leah Sava Jeffries, and Sharlto Copley. In it, Nate Daniels and his two teenage daughters visit a South African game reserve and must fight to survive when they are stalked by a vicious lion.
At the weekend during this period (August 12-14), ‘Beast’ recorded ₦11,162,831 across 56 cinemas and had spent just its first week.
The revenue for the seven-day period was most in the cinemas for the month of August – ₦93,110,908, as up to 12 movies recorded over one million naira.
August 19 – 25
This time, the movies – ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ (seventh week), ‘Bullet Train’ (third week), and ‘Beast’ (second week) – which led the revenue ranking over the previous weeks, led again, this seven-day period.
Together, those three Hollywood movies made ₦51,778,050, approximately 57% of cumulative revenue during this period – ₦90,085,250.
At the weekend during the period – August 19 – 21 – ‘Beast’ came on top with ₦13,130,479, ‘Bullet Train’ followed with ₦9,488,113, and coming third is ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ with ₦8,908,588.
‘The Set Up 2‘ – a 2022 Nigerian crime thriller film, a sequel to ‘The Set Up’ released in 2019, directed by Chinaza Onuzo, – which comes fourth on the list, continues the story of Chike and Grace as they navigate the underworld of the drug trade, business secrets and professional trickery while trying to stay alive from the new different obstacles they now face.
3,744 people visited the cinema for ‘The Set Up 2’, and in its second week recorded a cumulative of ₦17,509,420.
August 26 – 28
‘Beast’, ‘Love and Thunder’, and ‘Bullet Train’, appearing for the third, eighth and fourth week at the cinemas, respectively, led the revenue table for this weekend.
Coming fourth – ₦7,283,750 – is ‘Obara’m‘, a movie, released on August 26, about Oluchi, an up-and-coming musician, who is forced to confront her true self and her past mistakes.
11 movies during this period made over one million naira, and in total, made ₦49,933,805, which is approximately 93% of all revenue recorded in the review period.
Out of the movies on the list, nine of them are from Nollywood and recorded ₦14,255,035, which is approximately 27% of all revenue recorded during the last weekend.
Nollywood movies only experience a spike on the first weekend when it is released. What comes after is disillusionment, except when it generates a lot of positive reviews and these are seen on social media.
For instance, movies like ‘Hey You!’ and ‘The Set Up 2’ have stayed on the table for five and three weeks, respectively, only that the number of viewers has not matched most of the Hollywood movies in the top five.
Besides that, movies that achieve global popularity and have a massive budget usually stay on the table for weeks, as in the case of ‘Love and Thunder’. The revenue may have reduced over time for the Hollywood movie, but it has stayed in the top three and is in its eighth week, recording 150,969 viewers since it got to Nigerian cinemas.
However, as seen in the figure below, ‘Nigerian movies’ as a search term on YouTube shows an interest level high enough to indicate that Nigerians are interested in Nollywood products but would not visit a cinema to pay to watch them.
Indeed, Nollywood does not have the required support yet as Hollywood or Bollywood, so it may not have the required marketing or production budget to travel far and wide. Yet, storytelling is a factor that some Nigerian movie producers keep leaving out because they would rather focus on having a conglomeration of popular names.
Being on the list of ‘top three movie industries that churn out the most movies annually’ is not enough to drive conversations over a long period. Storytelling is indispensable to attract more attention.
The noise may persuade viewers to go to watch the first time, but that is where it ends.
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