It's the beginning of sequel craze in Nollywood
In the next few months, cinemas will be filled with series of movie sequels. Nollywood seems to have discovered its latest trend.
Sequels and remakes are not yet a deep-rooted part culture as is in Hollywood, where there are about 44 sequels for 2017.
Still, in the next few months, the Nigerian cinemas will be littered with series of movie sequels. Sequels to movies that enjoyed critical acclaim or box office success.
After last year's "The Wedding Party" proved a critical and box office hit — grossing over 400 million naira to become the highest grossing Nollywood movie - a sequel became inevitable.
This December, Omoni Oboli will debut "Wives on Strike: The Revolution," a sequel to her 2016 "Wives on Strike" movie.
Also, a sequel to "Mummy Dearest" is in the works, with Daniel K Daniel and Liz Benson reprising their roles from the original movie.
"Soldier's Story," the 2015 movie, which won Daniel K Daniel tons of awards, also has a sequel in the works.
Is there anything wrong with making these sequels? In Hollywood, the ceaseless debut of sequels and remakes have been attributed to lack of originality.
But, there have been exceptions to these 'unoriginal sequels.' Some have received both positive reviews and successful runs at the box office.
There are two major reasons why sequels are made. It's either because there's a story to continue or because a brand has been established and it makes business sense to repeat the process.
In 2015, Rukky Sanda announced a sequel to her star-studded movie "Keeping My Man" - thank goodness it never saw the light of the day. It would have simply taken advantage of an established brand and our 'love' for a star-studded romantic comedy.
"Wives on Strike is a gift that keeps giving," Omoni Oboli said about her sequel.
"There is more story to tell, so we wanted to take the opportunity to tell it," MO Abudu said about "The Wedding Party 2."
While I can't wait until December to figure out this gift and story, we must agree that turning hits into franchises pay off when a sequel continues a story rather than repeat it.
As long as these sequels don't disgrace an already loved story and cast, the purported 'lack of originality' would not be an issue.
The sequels will always be compared to their originals and most times, they never win.
Take for instance the 2017 "Mr and Mrs: Chapter 2," a sequel to the critically acclaimed 2012 movie "Mr and Mrs."
The sequel relied on the success of its original to sell. Unfortunately, it made no impact in Nollywood and felt like a disservice to the memorable prequel.
But, not all sequels and remakes are attempts to take advantage of an established brand. There is "The Return of Jenifa," which successfully concluded the adventures of Jenifa AKA Suliat from its 2008 original movie.
There's also the anticipated "Living in Bondage" remake. While we fear that a remake could desecrate several childhood memories, it has to be done for the culture. It is one classic that is apt for a contemporary interpretation.
The characters and story could get a new twist, and with the existing advanced technology, a good dose of visual effects can be added to deliver a rejuvenated brand.
The sequel craze has just begun for Nollywood, and it would be interesting to follow its success or lack thereof in the coming months.
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