The Nigerian film industry, popularly known as Nollywood, continues to thrive and evolve, with 2023 marking another landmark year of growth and success. According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nollywood cinemas grossed over 7.2 billion naira in 2023, reflecting a significant increase of 416 million naira compared to the previous year. This surge in revenue was accompanied by a notable 7% year-on-year increase in market share, indicating the industry’s robust performance and growing prominence in the global film landscape.
One of the key factors driving this growth was the expansion of cinema locations across the country. While the gross earnings in 2022 were generated from 64 locations, the number rose to 70 in 2023. This expansion not only facilitated greater accessibility to Nollywood films but also contributed to the overall increase in revenue.
A standout contributor to the stellar performance of Nollywood in 2023 was Funke Akindele’s groundbreaking film, ‘A Tribe Called Judah.’ Garnering over 14% of the total gross, the movie achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the first Nollywood film to surpass one billion naira in cinema earnings. Despite this success, Akindele’s previous project, ‘Omo Ghetto: The Saga’ (2020), still holds the record for the highest number of admissions for a Nollywood film, underscoring its enduring popularity and cultural impact.
The report also shed light on the dynamic relationship between ticket prices, audience engagement, and revenue growth. While increased ticket prices contributed to the rise in earnings, the pace of admissions growth did not align proportionally. This disparity raises questions about the sustainability of current pricing strategies and the need for a balanced approach to ensure continued audience engagement and revenue generation.
Drawing parallels with global cinema trends, the report referenced the success of blockbuster films like ‘Black Panther.’ The disparity in admissions between the original release and its sequel, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ highlighted the influence of ticket prices and screening locations on box office performance.
Furthermore, the report emphasized the challenges faced by cinemas in maintaining profitability amid rising operational costs. Increasing ticket prices, while essential for revenue generation, also necessitates careful consideration of audience preferences and affordability to avoid deterring moviegoers.
In addition to ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ nine other films grossed over 50 million naira in cinemas in 2023, further illustrating the diverse and thriving landscape of Nollywood cinema. From ‘Malaika’ to ‘A Weekend To Forget,’ these films captivated audiences and contributed to the industry’s overall success.