Hollywood literarily unleashed its wrath on Nigerian cinemas in May. According to recent stats by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), foreign movies dominated locally made movies in the box office across all weeks of the month.
A total of ₦312.8 million was reportedly spent at cinemas during the month. This is 13% lower than the 360.62 million raked in during the previous month but is a significant 54% increase from ₦202.65 million revenue generated in March.
As expected, the drop in revenue corresponded with a drop in cinema attendance. A total of 233,588 movie watchers reportedly visited the cinema in May, a 13% drop from the 269,008 movie watchers in April.
This slight decline put a kink in the gradual journey to reclaiming pre-pandemic highs. In February 2020, there were 440,00 moviegoers.
A breakdown shows that the highest-grossing week of the month came in the second week, with cinemas grossing over ₦75.33 million. The growth was fueled by the release of Jason Statham’s latest movie “Wrath Of Man“.
Despite raking in the largest revenue, the second week didn’t see the highest number of moviegoers. The third week took the crown for most visits to the cinema, recording 58,073 movie watchers compared to the 52, 667 in the second week.
The amount of revenue in the third week was moderate at ₦73.43 million.
In May, no week crossed the ₦100 million mark in revenue generation
For the first and fourth weeks, revenue dropped to ₦66.38 million and ₦59.79 million as most movies on the chart entered their second and third week on the big screen.
Hybrid premiers – cinema’s are starting to feel the effect
A major highlight of last month’s report is the dual premiering of movies on both big screens and streaming platforms.
It’s no longer news that the popularisation of streaming platforms during the pandemic influenced movie trends. However, the full effects of the new trend on cinema revenues are now very visible.
The new premiering of movies on streaming platforms instead of solely cinemas means that the revenue is now being shared. This was the case of Disney Movie, Cruella, which premiered on both the Box Office and Netflix in May
In the short term, this new model and the delayed release of some blockbuster movies may cause the full recovery to pre-pandemic numbers to take longer.
Hollywood’s Wrath of Man tops Nigerian cinemas
The long run of Nollywood’s dominance at the top of the Nigerian box office finally came to an end in May. Jason Statham’s action thriller, Wrath of Man led other foreign movies to secure most spots in the top 5 rankings for the month.
Wrath of Man was the highest grossing movie in April
The movie was the highest-grossing in the month, raking in over ₦61.94 million in its first three weeks. Nollywood’s Breaded Life followed with a total of about ₦42.22 million in revenue during the month.
Despite losing the battle, several other Nollywood movies like Mamba’s Diamond, Mimi and Prophetess also did fairly well during the month.
For Hollywood, other movies on the top charts include Mortal Kombat, Those who Wish Me Dead and Spiral.
The battle between Hollywood and Nollywood for the Nigerian market is poised to heat up as blockbusters like Fast and Furious 9, Spiderman and Matrix are scheduled to premiere soon.
However, with the latest drop, the revenue generated by cinemas is still nowhere near the peak revenue pre-covid. While full recovery is the goal, it may take longer than expected with the worsening economic situation in the country as well as the continued premiere of movies on streaming services.
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