In a year dominated by politics, Nollywood churned out plenty of movies worth seeing at the theatres. It was also a great year for thrillers, historic movies, and biopics. The year also saw a handful of Nollywood films debut at international festival amidst rave reviews. But, some lucky films shattered box office records. Here are the top 5 Nollywood movies that ruled the box office in 2016.
- A Trip to Jamaica
Standing tall at the number one spot on our list is top comedian, Ayo Makun’s money spinning movie, A Trip to Jamaica. Starring Funke Akindele, Chris Attoh, Patoranking, Olamide and many others, the film broke the record previously held by its prequel, 30 days in Atlanta, to become highest grossing Nollywood/Hollywood movie in Nigerian cinemas.
The movie beat the box office revenues of the entire big budget Hollywood Titles released in 2016 in Nigeria like Batman Vs. Superman, Captain America, Suicide Squad and London Has Fallen.
According to the Executive Director of Filmone Distribution, Moses Babatope, the movie raked about N168m in revenue at the box office and also set a new benchmark in Nollywood as the first film to hit N35 million in its first weekend and the first film to hit N62 million in its first week. A film of many firsts, it is also the fastest film to generate N100 million in 17 days, and the fastest film to generate N150 million in six weeks.
2. Wedding Party
Starring star artiste, Banky W, and fast rising actress, Adesua Etomi, playing the lead roles, Elfike Collective’s box office hit, The Wedding Party, grossed N36 million in its opening weekend in cinemas across Nigeria. The tally placed The Wedding Party as the biggest opening weekend film of the year, ahead of A Trip to Jamaica and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Following the feat, the much-talked about story of Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi), a 24-year-old gallery owner and only daughter of her parents about to marry the love of her life, IT entrepreneur Dozie (Banky W) redefined box office records in the Nigerian Film Industry.
- The CEO
Yet another sold-out movie, Kunle Afolayan’s 2016 release, The CEO, is set in Lagos and other African cities. The CEO brings out the intrigues in the course of electing a CEO for a company; top executives who come for a business trip start to die one after the other. The movie also starred Angelique Kidjo, Fatym Layachi, Nico Panagio, Peter King, Hilda Dokubo and others. In June 2015, it made history when it became the first Nollywood film to have an in-flight premiere and screening aboard Air-France trip to Paris. The film was also the headliner at the prestigious NollywoodWeek Paris. The CEO made N60 million (includes figures from Ghana) at the cinemas.
4. Wives On Strike
Omoni Oboli’s latest movie, Wives on Strike, grossed N67 million from cinema viewings. It sold N15m in three days in its first weekend at the cinema, making it the first ever Nollywood movie to do so in the history of box-office records in Nigeria. A hilarious comedy, it tells the story of a group of market women who take a stand against their husbands in a bid to protect a young girl from underage marriage. It stars Uche Jumbo, Kenneth Okonkwo, Julius Agu, Chioma Akpotha and Ufuoma McDermott.
Oboli, in time past, had garnered commendations for her two earlier movies, Being Mrs Elliot and The First Lady as executive producer. The two movies made best box office movies of 2014 and 2015 respectively with an excellent showing at the cinemas.
- Mo Abudu‘s FIFTY, the new age drama chronicling the lives of four fifty-year-old women living in Lagos, broke Nigerian Box Office records by making N20m in a holiday weekend.
Despite competition from about 8 films at the time it premiered at the cinemas, FIFTY triumphed at the box office, consistently selling out dates in Ikeja, Abuja, Surulere, Lekki, Ibadan, Akure and other locations across the country. FIFTY, which earlier on premiered before a global audience in London at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival, will be remembered as one of the most high-profile Nollywood movies of 2016.