Movie theatre attendance in Nigerian cinemas saw a major setback in February. The numbers had earlier started to show great recovery after seeing high numbers in December 2020 and January 2021 but have relapsed in the recent stats released by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).
The report shows that Nigerian cinemas across the country admitted 177,220 movie watchers in February. This is a significant drop from 360,928 movie watchers admitted in January and the over 360,000 persons that visited Nigerian cinemas during the same month last year.
The decline in moviegoers reflected in revenue generated by cinemas during the month as Nigerians spent N223.62 million in February.
This is a drop from the N492.15 million spent in theatres all over the country in January, and a massive decline year-on-year. In February 2020, Nigeria spent N412.04 million at cinemas.
A breakdown shows that the highest-grossing week of the month came in the third week, with cinemas grossing over N73.25 million.
This was not unexpected as February (February 14 – 16) is associated with love. This saw many people stroll to the cinemas to have a delightful time with their loved ones.
Over the Valentine weekend (February 12 – 14), Nigerian cinemas raked in over N52.58m from over 36,000 moviegoers
Other weeks in the month, however, had poor entries, with cinema operators making less than N50m each week. Even the last weekend, saw cinema operators make just N34 million from moviegoers.
Nigerian cinemas did not make up to N100 million during any week in February.
Nollywood movies continue to dominate Box Office
Riding off the high of the previous month, Nollywood movies continued to dominate the top 10 most-watched films in cinemas during the month. This means that local content was the prefered choice of movie lovers in February.
In February 2020, cinema operators made over N190.29m from Nollywood movie attendance. While for Hollywood, they made just N33.92m. Together, they accounted for about 99% of the total grossing in February.
This a significant reversal of the trend from a year ago indicating that Hollywood’s contribution has dropped by over 84% from the N217 million cinemas made in February 2020. Nollywood on the other hand increased by 13% year-on-year.
Nollywood’s, Omo Ghetto, despite being released last year, still tops the country’s box office. Since its release, the movie has made N615.8m in Nigerian cinemas and over 100 million in February alone.
Omo Ghetto alone accounted for more than 45% of the total amount spent on movies in February.
Other Nollywood movies in the top 5 also made giant strides in the month. Still Falling raked in over N23 million and Fine Wine made over N20 million during the month.
Hollywood movie, Little Things raked in N11.9 million, the highest in the Hollywood category in February. Since its release in January, the movie has grossed N16.4 million.
Other Hollywood movies like Tom and Jerry that debuted in February has been performing well, raking in about N5 million in its first week.
The growing gap between Hollywood movies and Nollywood movies can be attributed to the shortage over the past year due to COVID-19 related delays.
However, with blockbusters and fan favourites like Coming 2 America and Godzilla vs. Kong coming to cinemas in March, both cinema attendance and Hollywood contribution are poised to increase.
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