Valentine’s Day drove revenue of cinema houses across Nigeria over the weekend, making it the highest-grossing weekend since the yuletide period, after generating N79.8 million.
The total amount was generated by 20 movies, both Nollywood and international films, with Dear Affy emerging as the most grossed Nollywood film.
During the Valentine weekend, 10 Nollywood films, 8 western movies, one Ghollywood and one Bollywood were screened to over 63,000 film enthusiasts by several cinema houses like FilmHouse Cinema, Silverbird Cinema and Deluxe Cinema among others.
Economic climate did not affect cinema
The N79.8 million generated by the cinema houses across Nigeria during the Valentine period shows that the change in economic climate in Nigeria had little or no negative impact on the cinema business in Nigeria, as this figure is more than the N56.5 million generated in the corresponding period last year 2019.
Despite the tax reform by President Muhammadu Buhari, which has led to an increase in cost of living (VAT rate moved from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent), Nigerians didn’t sacrifice their leisure time or the love festival to reflect the changes.
Highest-grossing movies for Val weekend
The movies that generated the highest revenue were Bad Boys For Life (Hollywood), which grossed N13.2 million, Dear Affy (Nollywood) recorded revenue of N11.2 million, Sugar Rush (Nollywood) earned N11 million, Birds of Prey (Hollywood) came fourth with N11 million as well, while Fantasy Island (Hollywood) generated N7.1 million.
Dear Affy and Fantasy Island featured for the first time at the cinema on Valentine weekend, Birds of Prey was screening for the second week, Bad Boys For Life was showing for the fifth week, while Sugar Rush has been on for eight weeks.
However, since debut, Sugar Rush has generated N255.9 million, Bad Boys For Life grossed N144.1 million, Birds of Prey recorded N32.7 million, while Dear Affy and Fantasy Island have both generated N12.3 million and N7.1 million respectively, a report by CEAN – an association of cinema owners, operators, and managers incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria – disclosed.
What does this mean?
The growth of the cinema culture in Nigeria is a significant advantage for Nollywood movie producers, who in the past have lost revenue to piracy. The Nollywood industry was once confronted by piracy and couldn’t curb the menace until the cinema business became an attractive investment opportunity for investors.
What 2020 holds for the industry
Although the N3.5 billion recorded for the year 2019 (weekends) is not enormous, with cinema culture gradually becoming a norm among Nigerians, the figure is certain to increase in 2020, but it will be a slow growth as ‘stream and chill’ (Video On Demand services like Netflix, iroko, Amazon Prime and others) also becomes a culture among Nigerians.