Nigerian cinemas gross ₦7.2 billion in 2023

cast and crew of the movie series SHANTY TOWN at the premiere in 2023
cast and crew of the movie series SHANTY TOWN at the premiere in 2023

Nigerian cinemas experienced a significant boost in revenue in 2023, grossing over 7.2 billion naira. This marks a 7% year-on-year increase in market share, with Nollywood contributing to 39% of the overall market share, according to a new report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The report reveals that the earnings for 2023 surpassed the previous year’s earnings by over 416 million naira. Interestingly, there was a rise in the number of cinema locations as well, with a total of 70 locations in 2023 as compared to 64 in 2022.

Funke Akindele’s “A Tribe Called Judah” breaks Box Office record

The Industry, a reputable film insights publication, provided data insights that shed light on the revenue distribution within Nollywood. Remarkably, Funke Akindele’s film “A Tribe Called Judah” accounted for over 14% of the total gross, making it the first Nollywood film to cross the one billion naira mark in the box office. This achievement played a significant role in luring audiences back to Nigerian cinemas post-lockdown and attracting new viewers.

Despite the success of “A Tribe Called Judah,” Akindele’s previous film, “Omo Ghetto: The Saga” (2020), still holds the record for the highest number of admissions for a Nollywood film, with 449,901 admissions. The report highlights the disparity between increased ticket prices and the growth in admissions, which remains relatively low. It questions the impact of ticket prices on actual cinema attendance and habit growth, especially considering that ticket prices in city centers are as high as 7,000 naira.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” sets new Box Office record

The report draws a parallel with the release of the first “Black Panther” movie in 2018, which had over 200,000 more admissions than its sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Despite the initial film having more admissions, the sequel set a new West Africa record by grossing one billion naira, aided by higher ticket prices and expanded screening locations. In 2018, there were 48 locations, while by 2022, this number had increased to 64.

The report emphasizes that cinemas have been compensating for the situation by raising prices, prompting audiences to make more deliberate decisions about their movie choices.

NAN’s report further reveals that in 2023, nine other films in addition to “A Tribe Called Judah” surpassed 50 million naira in the box office. These films include “Malaika,” “Ada Omo Daddy,” “Orisa,” “Merry Men 3,” “Kesari,” “Something Like Gold,” “The Kujus Again,” “Afamefuna,” and “A Weekend To Forget.”

Overall, the Nigerian cinema industry witnessed remarkable growth in revenue and market share, driven by highly successful films and an increased number of cinema locations. However, it also highlights the need to address the divergence between ticket prices and admissions to foster sustainable cinema attendance growth.