Nigerian Box Office 2019 Review: The cinema culture is improving but at a slow pace

Movie goers
  • Box office revenue in Nigeria is at an all-time high. According to the National Film and Video Censors Board (NVFCB), moviegoers spent between N6.4billion and N6.7billion in 2019.
  • This is a major improvement from last year when Nigerian movies generated roughly N2 billion. 
  • Despite this increase, NVFCB reports that only less than 20 percent of Nigerians are actually going to the cinema with most of them still watching movies on DVD. 

2019 was a great year for the Nigerian box office. From "Living in Bondage: Breaking Free" to the newly released "Sugar Rush," statistics show that moviegoers spent almost N7 billion in cinemas across the country last year.

This is huge considering the fact that filmmakers made N600 million in cinemas in December 2018 and roughly N2 billion watching movies throughout the entire year.

During an interview with The PUNCH, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NVFCB) Executive Director, Adedayo Thomas, stated that "the box office generated almost N7bn in 2019. Between N6.4bn and N6.7bn was generated."

  • Breakdown

The year kicked off with the three top movies "Aquaman," "Chief Daddy" and "Up North" making combined earnings of N168 million. The revenue dropped in February with movies earning a total of N291 million.

Things got better by March with moviegoers spending N434 million. The release of "Avengers: Endgame" resulted in total earnings of N734 million in April.

There was a dip again in May with moviegoers spending only N367 million. In June, films made N576 million. Movies grossed over N3 billion during the first half of 2019.

By July and August, movies earned over N1.2 billion, followed by a total gross of N88 million in October.

The year ended with Nigerian movies like "Your Excellency," "Merry Men 2," "Sugar Rush '' ruling the box office and with a total earning of N1 billion.

  • Not all good news

Despite the good figures, NVFCB Executive Director Thomas said that the majority of Nigerians are still not going to the cinemas choosing to watch movies on DVDs instead.

In his words, "But from information at our disposal, money generated from DVD sales may have been higher. This is because less than 20 percent of the population is watching cinema."

Still, the statistics prove that a lot more Nigerians are going to cinemas which is good news for 2020.


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