May was a great month for Nigerian cinemas.
Nigerians spent N551 million watching movies at the cinemas in May
According to the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), there was an increase in attendance and movie grosses last month.
Almost 500,000 Nigerians spent N551.2 million watching movies at cinemas across the country in May alone. This is way more than the 363,550 people who visited cinemas in March.
This is the largest monthly figure and the biggest monthly gross since December 2018 when Nigerian moviegoers spent over N600 million.
Why May was a great month for Nigeria cinemas
This spike in attendance and movie grosses has been attributed to the release of three movies- 'Avengers: Endgame', 'John Wick 3' and 'Aladdin'.
The biggest of them all is the popular Marvel superhero movie, which attracted 171,118 Nigerians to movie theatres in 46 locations in Nigeria. These moviegoers spent a total of N269.2 million.
John Wick 3, which debuted in Nigerian cinemas on May 17, is the second highest grossing movie for last month.
Grossing N49 million in its first week, it went on to make N98 million in just two weeks. Third on the list is Disney's Aladdin which raked in N62 million in just one week.
What about Nigerian movies?
Despite the millions being spent in cinemas across the nation, very little is going to the Nigerian domestic film industry.
Every month, foreign movies top the box office while Nollywood movies can be found in the middle or close to the bottom of the top 10 list.
This often makes Nigerian movies the least earning films in theatres. A classic example is when only N46.8 million went to Nigerian movies despite the fact that moviegoers spent N266 million in February.
The same thing happened in December 2018 when Nigerians spent N137 million out of N680 million on local films at cinemas during the holidays.
A few exceptions to this trend are AY Makun's 2018 film 'Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons', and 'King of Boys' by Kemi Adetiba, which held the number one spot at the box office for three consecutive weeks.
Overall, Nollywood is still losing out despite the growing cinema culture in Nigeria.
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