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Nigerian Box Office January 2023 vs. 2024 Performance Review

The Story

After a brutal COVID-19 hit, is the business of the big screen back on the growth track?

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This piece takes a closer look at the January box office performance of the past year in comparison to 2024, using data from The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) to illuminate trends and consumer preferences.

January 2023 consumer spending hit a total gross cume of N942.59 million, whilst, in January 2024, the numbers soared to N1.52 billion.

Here are 7 key insights to take note of

1. The Funke effect: A tribe called Judah and Battle on Buka Street dominates January. ATCJ pulled in (N419M), 55.08% of the first week’s gross Revenue (N762M) in January 2024. While BOBS (169 M) accounts for 38.73% of the first week gross of January 2023.

2. Top 5 titles 23 v 24: Battle on Buka Street, Plane, Avatar 2, Ijakunmo, Pathaan, stand out in January 2023. A Tribe Called, Judah, Aquaman 2, Malika, Ada Omo Daddy, and Mean Girls all play take key spots in January 2024.

3. Black Panther 2 hits the 1 billion mark in its 6th week dated Jan 2023. A Tribe called Judah hit the 1 billion mark in its 3rd week dated Jan 2024.

4. Nollywood titles Flourishes for a December release with titles peaking in sales after the January run.

5. Ticket sales for January 2024 have declined by 15.92% compared to January 2023. Week 1 admissions in 2023 were 741,997 compared to 623, 855 in 2024.

6. January Data comparisons

7. January 2025 Forecast: if Funke Akindele takes a break for the December window release, would a Nollywood title pull double digits week-on-week revenue or perhaps a Hollywood title take the crown? Consumer demand for December for the past 3 years has been fueled by titles that featured and are produced by Funke Akindele. perhaps a break from her can reveal another box office titan can emerge and can pull such product appeal and demand. But in 2024, distributor execs eyed the 1 billion mark and cleared it, maybe it’s time to set sights on the 2 billion mark in 2025.

Week on Week Breakdown

In the first week of January 2023, ‘Battle On Buka Street’ was dominant at the box office, raking in an impressive N169.88 million despite its three-week run.

Similarly, the first week of  January 2024 saw ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ dominating the charts in its third week, earning a staggering N419.93 million. Both films are helmed by the talented Funke Akindele, whose remarkable consistency in delivering cinema hits underscores her undeniable prowess as the reigning queen of the box office. Contrastingly, the least-watched film in January 2023’s opening week was ‘The Stand Up,’ a Nollywood offering by Jide ‘JBlaze’ Oyegbile, pulling in a modest N7,800 in its fifth week.

Meanwhile, January 2024 also saw the introduction of  ‘Animal,’ a Bollywood spectacle, which only garnered N114,400 in its fifth week.

 In the first week of January 2024, the box office witnessed a remarkable total sales figure of N762,289,163 Million. This starkly contrasts with the first week of January 2023, where the box office grossed N438,638,729 Million.

In the second week of January 2023, ‘Battle on Buka Street’ retained its stronghold at the box office, maintaining the top spot into its fourth week with earnings of N84.92 million. Meanwhile, ‘Catfish Christmas,’ a Hollywood production directed by Victoria Rowell, languished as the least-watched film, pulling in a mere N127,257 in its fourth week. Fast forward to January 2024’s second week, and ‘A Tribe Called Judah continued its reign at the pinnacle of the chart well into its fourth week, amassing an impressive N197.066 million. On the other hand, Hollywood’s action thriller ‘Silent Night’ struggled to capture audience attention, earning only N14,435 in its sixth week.

In Week 2 of January 2023, the box office recorded a gross of N207,938,490 million. Comparatively, in Week 2 of January 2024, the box office saw a substantial increase, with a gross of N353,069,231.

In the third week of January 2023, ‘Battle on Buka Street’ still held its position at the top spot with earnings of N33.410 million, while the Kannywood film ‘Kamanni,’ directed by Ali Nuhu, struggled with a meagre N7,000 after its fourth week. Fast forward to the third week of January 2024, ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ continued its dominance as the most-watched film, maintaining its lead even into its fifth week with a gross of N84.606 million. Contrastingly, the Bollywood movie, ‘Salaar,’ earned just N44,000 in its fourth week, making it the least-watched film of the week.

The seven-day gross for the third week of January 2024 amounted to N177.983 million, whereas for the same period in January 2023, it totalled N124.063 million.

During Week 4 of January 2023, ‘Battle of Buka Street’ maintains its dominance as the top-grossing movie, pulling in N21.459 million in its 7th week, while ‘Rising City of Dreams’ struggles at the bottom, earning a mere N7,200 in its 8th week.

Meanwhile, in Week 4 of January 2024, A Tribe Called Judah,  already in its 6th week maintains its number one position, amassing N41.104 million that week, with Victor Okere’s film ‘Drink’ claiming the least-watched spot, earning N7,400 after 7 weeks.

The total box office revenue for the 4th  week of January 2023 reaches an impressive N87.607 million while Weekly cinema revenue for the 4th week of January 2024, totals N117.19 million.

In the final week of January 2023, ‘Battle on Buka Street’ maintained its stronghold as the top-performing movie for the seventh consecutive week, earning N21.45 million, while ‘Rising: City of Dreams’ concluded the month as the least-watched film with just N7500..

Fast forward to the last week of January 2024, where ‘The Beekeeper,’ starring Jason Statham, seized the spotlight from ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ debuting with an impressive N48.96 million in its first week. Meanwhile, Bollywood’s ‘Hanu Manu’ struggled as the least-watched film, earning only N7,000 in its third week.

The total box office gross for the fifth week in January 2023 amounted to N84.34 million. While in January 2024, the fifth week’s gross revenue reached N118.57 million.

In Summary

Funke Akindele’s films have been highly successful at the Nigerian box office, with “Battle on Buka Street” and “A Tribe Called Judah” dominating January in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The comparison between the two years shows a substantial growth in total box office gross numbers, indicating the industry’s strength and increased audience engagement.

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