Home Arts Entertainment Nigerians spend N10.5b on viewing movies amid economic hardship

Nigerians spend N10.5b on viewing movies amid economic hardship

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Despite Nigerians battling economic hardship arising from the increasing cost of living due to high inflation, low disposable income and fuel subsidy removal, fun-seekers have spent N10.5 billion to watch movies in cinemas across the country in the last 19 months.

Nigerians, it was learnt, visit the cinemas more often these days to relieve the tension and the financial burden they are facing in the country.

In 2022, cinemas across the country recorded N6.9 billion revenue from movie lovers while the first seven months of the current year have already yielded N3.6 billion.

Statistics for 2023 show that Nigerians spent N819 million watching movies in cinemas in January, N278 million in February, N441 million in March, and N566 million in April.

It was N514 million in May, N507 million in June, and N482 million in July 2023.

Recently, the Nigerian movie industry has recorded considerable growth with a huge potential to become a hub if its growth can be guided and more investment poured into its value chains. And in the cinema value chain, which gauges how far Nigeria’s production value has grown, Nollywood has contributed largely to the growing cinema culture.

Recently, the national chairman of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), Mr. Opeyemi Ajayi, stated that N482 million was generated in July and N507 million in June, saying there is a huge potential for growth in the cinemas.

Ajayi told LEADERSHIP that the information was based on its half-year report, which showed there was much room for growth and possibilities if leakages were plugged and the federal and state governments were sensitive to the nature of cinema business.

He explained that the gross amount generated in June was higher than that of July, because “the month of June had more public holidays and we had stronger movies in June that made it rake in more revenue than July.”

However, in the Box Office, the leading top Nollywood movie that grossed in Nigeria in the first half year report is Battle On The Buka Street, at N369.8 million. The second leading Nollywood movie is Ijakumo: The Born Again Stripper, grossing N174 Million. Interestingly the two movies were released late in 2022. The next are: The Kuju’s Again (N53.5 million), Love In A Pandemic (N46.4 million) and Domitilla (N45.1 million).

The Hollywood titles that made box-office hit in the first half year was led by John Wick IV which grossed  N361.2million, followed by Fast X (N298.3million), Avatar, Way of Water (180.6million), Creed III (N146.2 million), Antman & Wasp Quantumania, which grossed N140 million between January and June.

Interestingly, Fast X is still running in cinemas. Avatar, Way of Water, premiered in 2022 and is still sold out in half year of 2023. ‘Spiderman into the Spiderverse’ (Animation) which is a Hollywood production grossed more than N107 million at the box-office, showing the dynamics and potential of animation productions in the cinemas.

As it is in cinemas in Nigeria, Hollywood movies more often than not, account for the most revenue generated by cinemas in Nigeria. Some of the Hollywood movies expected to enter Nigerian cinemas in the next half of the year include The Mission Impossible, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Kraven The Hunter, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom, among others.

With these figures, market observers expect cinema owners and exhibitors to generate more if investors are attracted to building more cinemas.

Presently, Nigeria has an estimated figure of about 70 standard cinemas, and few community cinemas planned for the 774 local governments across the country, according to the Cultural Policy which has been gathering dust in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for decades.

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