Cinema attendance in Nigeria is finally growing after a significant drop during the first quarter of the year. This is according to recent stats by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN)
In April, cinemas admitted 269,008 movie watchers, a 60% growth from the 168,000 that visited the cinema in March and the 177,220 that did in February.
However, it is still 25% lower than the number (360,928) that was admitted in January.
The report shows that while the numbers have started growing it is still below the cinema attendance pre-pandemic. In comparison, there were over 440,000 moviegoers in February 2020 alone.
Cinema Revenue grows by 78%
The increase in moviegoers reflected in revenue generated by cinemas as Nigerians spent N360.62 million in April. This is a significant 78% increase from N202.65 million revenue generated in March and the N223.62 million recorded in February.
Despite the growth, the amount spent was still lower than the N492.15 million spent in January and the N551.9 million spent in January, 2020 pre-pandemic.
A breakdown shows that the highest-grossing week of the month came in the first week, with cinemas grossing over N124.26 million. The growth was fueled by the release of Godzilla Vs Kong and the Prophetess movie.
Cinema’s made over N100 million in a single week for the first time since February
By the second week, the revenue dropped to N87.4 million as movies released also entered their second week. The third week was worse as moviegoers spent even lower as just N60.62 million was reported by cinemas.
The fourth week was not better as cinemas raked in just N57.47 million but it was still above the lowest weekly revenue pre-pandemic.
The downward trend of the revenue isn’t surprising but it is still well below the profits margins seen in 2019. A brief analysis points out that the boom of streaming during the pandemic may have influenced movie trends.
The new premiering of movies on streaming platforms instead of solely cinemas and the delayed release of some blockbuster movies may cause the full recovery to pre-pandemic numbers to take longer.
However, the threat Streaming platform like Netflix pose may not be as dreadful to cinema’s as most local catalogue on the platform are old. This means people still have to visit cinemas to watch big movies
Some Nigeria movies on Netflix include Mama Drama (2020), Seven (2019) and God Calling (2018)
Prophetess Beats Godzilla Vs Kong in Nigerian Cinemas
Nollywood’s dominance at the top of the box office is beginning to wane as Hollywood secured 3 of the top 5 spots in April. However, Nollywood movie raked in more money than their Hollywood counterparts during the month.
A breakdown of the top 5 shows that Nollywood movies raked in over N182.19 million while Hollywood made about N153.81 million.
Nollywood’s Prophetess (N111.29 million) was the highest-grossing movie of the month Beating both Godzilla Vs Kong (N45.5M) and Mortal Kombat (N73.29M).
This continues the trend of Nigerian Movies topping the Box office since the start of the pandemic. However, only Omo Ghetto has reached and even exceed the revenue generated by pre-pandemic blockbusters like Wedding Party and Merry Men 2 (212 million) and Your Excellency (168.9 million) in its first 4 weeks.
Prophetess contributed about 30% of the total amount spent on movies in April
Other Nollywood movies in the top chart for the month include Therapist, The which raked in about N24 million and Breaded Life which raked in about N39.49 million.
While for Hollywood, Raya & the Last Dragon (N35.02 million), Nobody (N14.7 million) and Chaos Walking (6.23 million) ranked at the top of the chart.
The battle between Hollywood and Nollywood for the Nigerian market is poised to heat up as blockbusters like Venom, Spiderman and Matrix are scheduled to premiere soon.
However, the revenue generated by cinemas is still nowhere near the peak revenue pre-covid. While full recovery is expected it may take longer as expected with the current economic situation in the country.
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