‘Doctor Strange’ dominates as Nigerians spent N703m in the cinemas in May 2022

Afeez Odunoye
Cinema exhibitors made 14% more than the N604,889,051 earnings from April 2022…
‘Doctor Strange’ tops as cinema revenue hits N703M in May 2022

Cinema revenue in Nigeria improved considerably in May, with exhibitors helping themselves to a total of N703,746,272 in earnings. The earnings come from a chain of Top 20 Film reports for May released on the website of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).

For Nigerians, the month of May 2022 came with a string of holidays. From the Worker’s Day to the Eid Al-Fitr celebrations and finally the Children’s Day for the country’s kids and teachers, the holidays provided just enough time for everyone to spend on leisure.

Remarkably, cinema outings turned out as one of the most preferred activities to spice things up. Marvel Studios produced ‘Doctor Strange’ topped the chart as the most-watched movie in May.

‘Doctor Strange’ tops as cinema revenues hit N703m in May 2022. CEAN

The film and 19 other movies helped cinema exhibitors to N703,746,272 in earnings from showings in several locations across the country.

The holiday effect

From the reports, Technext found out that exhibitors grossed N170,537,421 in the opening week of the month: April 29 – May 5, 2022. This earning may have been influenced by the Eid Al Fitr (the end of the Ramadan fast for Muslims) and the Workers’ Day holidays in Nigeria.

As with every holiday season in the country, citizens visit the cinemas and other fun and leisure spots to celebrate with friends and families. The figure (N170,537,421) almost doubled the N94,060,627 earnings in the first week of April: April 1 to 7.

At the final weekend of the month, May 27 – 29, exhibitors made N80,242,440 from showing several movies to big-screen enthusiasts. This is a significant drop from how much they made in the opening week of the month – N170,537,421. It’s also 16% lower than the earnings recorded in the same period for April: N109,896,092.

Between May 20 – 26, exhibitors reported 48,801 admissions. This represents a drop from the  57,160 admissions gained from April 22 – 28.  

A good month for Hollywood

In May, Nigerians watched more movies from America’s film industry – Hollywood. Superhero film Doctor Strange led the pack, according to CEAN data. Released on May 6, the Sam Raimi-directed movie made N27,987,611 in earnings at the final weekend of the month: May 27 – 29.

Another Hollywood flick, Top Gun: Maverick earned N16,809,103 during the week in review. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 placed third with N9,868,517 from movie tickets. The action-adventure comedy film stood at the same spot (third spot) in the CEAN April rankings. Between April 26-28, the final weekend of April, the film made N14,224,905 for exhibitors. 

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 made the top 3 movies in April and May, helping exhibitors boost cinema revenue. Gamespot

The Wildflower closely followed Sonic The Hedgehog 2, ranking fourth with N9,732,969 as earnings. Agesinkole, the Nollywood epic that dominated during the Easter 2022 holidays and for most of April dropped to the 5th spot. The film recouped N6,449,600 in earnings.   

Sickle cell-inspired Ben From Downstairs, placed bottom with N85,000. That’s N25,000 more than what Alaise gathered at the big screens in April in the same spot.


Nollywood, Nigeria’s resilient and omnipresent film industry, has become a global powerhouse with an enormous following in Africa and among the African diaspora. It is the second-largest film sector globally with a projected worth of $6.4 billion in 2021, and the continent’s largest in terms of value, number of annual movies, revenue and popularity. Nigeria produces around 2,500 movies annually.

The exhibitors, represented by CEAN, will seek to build on this feat with the best movies from Nollywood, Hollywood and other popular film industries.

Moviegoers will most likely keep their ‘faith’ in Hollywood movies, to the disadvantage of movies from Nollywood.

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