Nigerian Cinema Yields ₦7.2 Billion in 2023, With Akindele’s Film Contributing 14%.




In 2023, Nigerian cinemas generated over 7.2 billion naira in revenue from 2.6 million admissions, with Nollywood maintaining a 39% market share, as stated in a recent report.


According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the reported earnings in 2023 exceeded those in 2022 by over 416 million naira, reflecting a 7% year-on-year increase in market share. Notably, the 2022 gross was derived from 64 locations, while the total locations increased to 70 in 2023.


Data insights from The Industry, a film insights publication, revealed that within Nollywood, Funke Akindele’s ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ accounted for over 14% of the total gross, marking the first Nollywood film to surpass one billion naira in cinema earnings. The success of this film contributed to the overall revenue growth, primarily attributed to higher ticket prices.


Despite the milestone, the journal highlighted that the increase in revenue is not keeping pace with admissions growth, which remains notably low. It’s worth noting that Akindele’s previous film, ‘Omo Ghetto: The Saga’ (2020), still holds the record for the highest number of admissions for a Nollywood film, standing at 449,901. The dynamics of both increased ticket prices and diverse film performances underscore the evolving landscape of the Nigerian cinema industry.


The project played a pivotal role in reinvigorating Nigerian cinemas post-lockdown and attracting new audiences. The impact is evident in the audience’s return and the successful conversion of new viewers.


Comparing the hypothetical scenario of releasing the project alongside ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ using an average ticket price of ₦3,700, it suggests potential earnings exceeding ₦1.6 billion. This raises concerns about the relationship between ticket prices and actual cinema habit growth, especially considering the current ₦7,000 ticket prices in most city center cinemas. Despite annual increases in gross revenues, there’s a need to scrutinize whether this growth aligns with audience habits and accessibility.


Drawing parallels, the journal highlighted the case of the first Black Panther movie in 2018, which had over 200,000 more admissions than its sequel, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.’ The latter, however, set a West African record as the first film to gross one billion naira, benefitting from increased ticket prices and expanded screening locations.


It’s noteworthy that the first Black Panther, with over 800 million naira in earnings, was released when there were 48 locations in 2018. By 2022, this number had grown to 64. This growth in screening locations underscores the industry’s expansion, reflecting both increased accessibility for audiences and the potential for films to achieve higher earnings.


The juxtaposition of ticket prices, audience habits, and location expansion demonstrates the multifaceted dynamics shaping the success of films in Nigerian cinemas, indicating a need for a balanced approach to ensure sustained growth and audience engagement.


The journal pointed out that cinemas have been staying afloat by significantly increasing prices, prompting audiences to carefully consider their choices. According to NAN, in 2023, nine additional films, including Malaika, Ada Omo Daddy, Orisa, Merry Men 3, Kesari, Something Like Gold, The Kujus Again, Afamefuna, and A Weekend To Forget, each grossed over 50 million naira in cinemas. 


This diverse range of successful films underscores the industry’s ability to attract audiences and achieve substantial earnings despite the challenges posed by escalating ticket prices.

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