Cinemas in Nigeria are having a good run thanks to moviegoers. Statistics posted by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) show that in the month of May both attendance and movie grosses reached their highest points for the year 2019.
Nearly 500,000 people reportedly watched movies in cinemas across the nation in May. That’s way larger than the 363,550 people who visited cinemas in March. The spike in viewing figures for May is thanks to the release of Avengers: Endgame. The highly popular Marvel movie attracted 171,118 people to movie theatres in 46 locations across the country.
In terms of value, Nigerians spent N551,205,572 watching movies at the cinema in May alone. This is the largest monthly figure so far in 2019, and the biggest monthly gross since December 2018. Nigerians spent an incredible N680 million enriching cinemas in December.
Avengers: Endgame accounts for the greatest piece of the pie for the period under review. By far, Marvel’s Avengers grossed cinema operators N269,166,422 in May, dwarfing the earnings of any other movie. But it was not solely responsible for the spike. CEAN lists two other debut movies: John Wick 3 and Aladdin as close contenders.
John Wick 3, which debuted May 17, grossed N49 million in its first week and made a total of N98 million in just two weeks. While Disney’s Aladdin raked in the third highest movie gross. The film pulled a massive N62 million in just one week.
Despite the growing interest of moviegoers, the Nigerian domestic film industry is yet to capture the attention of cinephiles with the same intensity. Nollywood movies still pull in abysmal gross figures and viewing numbers.
But Nollywood isn’t alone in this. Indian films did not perform so well either. Movies like De De Pyaar De and Student of the Year 2 were two of the biggest Bollywood movies shown in Nigeria in May. Yet combined, they both raked in a paltry N5.5 million.
So, while Nigerian cinemas continue to pull in record moviegoers and box office grosses, attention needs to be placed on ensuring that Nollywood taps into this growth. Yes?
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