The cinema industry is known to be a super lucrative one and though it has never been in doubt, the month of November has the numbers to assert it. The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) has revealed that Nigerians spent a whooping ₦914 million on movies in November 2022 with Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever contributing over ₦600 million.
Wakanda Forever, the second installment of the Black Panther movies and the final film of Marvel’s Phase 4 released in Nigerian theatres on 11th November and after three weeks of showing, became the highest earner for the month so far, ahead of films like Nollywood’s Brotherhood, The Woman King and DC’s Black Adam.
According to data released by CEAN, Wakanda Forever pulled over 223,297 people across the country to the cinemas which was 38,548 more than DC’s Black Adam which had 184,749 viewers.
Nollywood’s Brotherhood held tightly to the top five highest-grossing movies list for November, going toe to toe with Hollywood’s The Woman King despite showing in cinemas for one less week. The movie came in at number two at the November box office with a total gross of N318.8 million.
Patrick Lee, CEAN National President commented on the years numbers, describing the success of Nigerian movies as a testament to the shift in interest in watching movies in cinemas as opposed to the usual practice of streaming or downloading pirated versions of these movies. According to Lee, a similar pattern was seen in April, when sales volume increased by 50% from the ₦388 million registered in the same period last year.
Despite these impressive numbers, streaming platforms still overshadow cinema exhibitions. According to the Industry Report from Inside Nollywood, “If the audience is beginning to depend more on streaming to see Nollywood films, the filmmakers and other stakeholders have a heavy hand in this. They created a system where films make their debut on the big screen and go on to stream on an online platform about three months later. To the audience, the wait is not an unbearably long one to watch a Nollywood film, especially if expectations are low.”
Black Panther: Wakanda still tops the most-watched movies list in Nigeria for the month of December with ₦48,931,834 grossed in the opening weekend. New releases like Violent Night, The StandUp, and Gbege follow on the top 10 list.