The Nigerian Film industry has taken another step towards becoming one of the world’s most important film industry’s, with ‘The Wedding Party’ a Romantic Comedy starring Adesua Etomi & Banky W, taking $1.5m (N454m) at the Nigerian box office. By Dapo Oshiyemi
This makes the Wedding Party the highest grossing film in Nigeria to date, ahead of its closest Hollywood rival ‘Fast and Furious 7’ at $1.2m. No doubt Nollywood has come a long way in just 20 odd years, from its humble beginnings as a small cottage industry in the 1990’s producing films with fuzzy pictures and epileptic sound to the $3.1bn powerhouse it is today.
But what makes ‘The Wedding Party’s feat so remarkable is the fact that during 2016 the Naira collapsed against the US Dollar by 85% and Nigeria fell into a deep recession with its GDP tumbling from a high of $569 billion in 2015 to $481 billion in 2016. In fact, if the Wedding Party had been released in 2015 the same year as Fast and Furious 7, it’s Box office take would be around $2.7m today. Furthermore the whole of Nigeria has just 135 screens, serving a population of nearly 190m people, which is the largest population in Africa and the 7th largest in the world, compare those screen ratios with South Africa which has 800 screens serving a population of 55m and the UK which has 3,947 screens serving a population of 65m, all this tells us that, Nigeria’s film industry has enormous potential for domestic growth.
Now, it is a well known fact that Nigerian films are watched earnestly all over the world, fuelled by an estimated 15m plus Nigerians scattered across the globe, so one doesn’t have to be a genius to work out Nollywood’s prospects for sustained and explosive International growth to add to its huge domestic potential.
Top 20 Highest Grossing Nigerian Films.
1 The Wedding Party 2016 $1.5m Kemi Adetiba
2 30 Days in Atlanta 2014 $873,885 Robert Peters
3 A Trip To Jamaica 2016 $569,610 Robert Peters
4 Fifty 2015 $553,121 Biyi Bandele
5 Ijé– The Journey 2010 $398,667 Chineze Anyaene
6 Half of a Yellow Sun 2013 $382,165 Biyi Bandele
7 October 1 2014 $292,993 Kunle Afolayan
8 Tango with Me 2010 $258,064 Mahmood Ali-Balogun
9 76 2016 $229,117 Izu Ojukwu
10 The Return of Jenifa 2012 $221,519 Muhydeen S. Ayinde
11 Wives on Strike 2016 $214,161 Omoni Oboli
12 The CEO 2016 $203,660 Kunle Afolayan
13 The Figurine 2009 $200,000 Kunle Afolayan
14. Road to Yesterday 2015 $176,470 Ishaya Bako
15 Last Flight to Abuja 2012 $152,866 Obi Emelonye
16 Flower Girl 2013 $146,000 Michelle Bello
17 Weekend Getaway 2012 $144,906 Desmond Elliot
18 Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo 2015 $133,118 Daniel Oriahi
19 Phone Swap 2012 $131,098 Kunle Afolayan
20 Anchor Baby 2010 $120,000 Lonzo Nzekwe
Box office figures were calculated based on Central Bank of Nigeria exchange rates the year the film was released. Information used in calculating the Box offices figures was obtained from Distributors and exhibitors.