At the height of the Conovarius pandemic in 2020, Nollywood was badly affected as major studios, cinemas and productions were either shut down or suspended indefinitely.
This, in turn, led to a spike in online movie streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
When Nigerian cinemas were eventually permitted to reopen in September 2020- the first time in more than four months, Nigerian filmmakers had to get a lot more creative.
Thankfully, they didn’t have to work extra hard to generate revenue from the box office as the absence of Hollywood blockbusters made it a breeze.
By the end of 2020, it was clear that 2021 would be an even better year for Nigerian filmmakers and stakeholders alike.
Nigeria’s largest cinema chain, Filmhouse, in its first-quarter analysis of box office information, says despite the absence of Hollywood blockbusters and seating capacity restrictions, the Nigerian box office has so far performed relatively better in 2021.
According to Filmhouse, the figures reflect the resilience and strong recovery potential of the Nigerian film industry.
In addition, they said despite the 45 per cent market share that cinemas in Lagos account for, in the first quarter of 2021, Funke Akindele’s blockbuster movie, ‘Omo Ghetto,’ accounted for 48 per cent of revenues and 47 per cent of attendance in Nigerian cinemas.
Among other findings, it was revealed that attendance and gross box office for Q1 in Nigerian cinemas show a shortfall of 32 per cent and 30 per cent respectively when compared to figures from 2020.
A total of 11 Hollywood movies and 19 Nollywood films were released in Q1 of 2021 while the average cinema tickets were pegged at N1282.07.
Interestingly, no Bollywood movie was released in Nigerian cinemas in Q1 of 2021.
The postponement of many Hollywood titles led to the Nigerian cinema industry’s dependence on Nollywood titles, hence more Nollywood titles were released.
Generally, film performances in Nigerian cinemas were constrained by curfews and seating capacity restrictions. Yet, Nollywood movies dwarfed their Hollywood counterparts in Nigerian cinemas.
Top five Nollywood films of Q1 2021
1) Omo Ghetto – N442 Million
2) Quam’s Money – N32 Million
3) Still Falling – N31 M
4) Day of Destiny – N29M
5) Fine Wine – N 26.5 M
Top Grossing Hollywood movies in Q1, 2021
1) Wonder Woman 1984 – N41M
2) Godzilla V Kong – N29M
3) Raya – N16M
4) Tom and Jerry – N12M
5) Soul – N10M