In a year filled with a lot of ups and downs, political turbulence, Boko Haram issues, recession wahala and the emergence of Donald Trump he he, Nollywood managed to churned out plenty of great movies worth seeing at the cinemas. Many that had us going to the cinemas to re watch them, and some that were as distasteful as chloro quin. 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.
Movie ‘76’is produced by Izu Ojukwu and Adonaijah Owiriwa and directed by Izu Ojukwu. It stars veteran Nollywood actors Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Rita Dominic and Ibinabo Fibereisima.
‘76’ is a fictional movie which takes a retrospective look into the first six post-civil war years in Nigeria. Set six years after the civil war, a young officer from the middle belt gets entangled in a romantic relationship with a beautiful O-Level student from the South-eastern part of Nigeria. However, their budding romance was almost ruptured by endless military postings. The soldier eventually gets accused of being involved in the 1976 unsuccessful military coup, and his heavily pregnant wife gets entangled in an emotional dilemma.
2. Wives On Strike
Omoni Oboli is looking to unseat the likes of Omotola, Geneieve, Ini Edo and the likes from the seat of Nollywood Queen with her latest movie, Wives on Strike, which grossed N67 million from cinema viewings. Wives on Strike sold N15m in three days in its first weekend at the cinema, making history as the first ever Nollywood movie to do so in the history of box-office records in Nigeria. A hilarious comedy that 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, who had previously garnered commendations for two of her 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 excellent showing at the cinemas.
3. The CEO
I don’t even need to see this movie before it makes this list. Everything Kunle Afolayan touches turns into gold. Yet another spectacular sold-out movie, Kunle Afolayan’s latest addition to his collection of priceless craft, The CEO, set in Lagos and other African cities. The CEO talks about the process involved in electing a CEO for a company; top executives who come for a business trip start to die one after the other. The movie starred Angelique Kidjo, Fatym Layachi, Nico Panagio, Peter King, Hilda Dokubo and others. In June 2016, 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. 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.
5. A Trip to Jamaica
The big dog of all, sequel to the box office chattering 30 days in atlantaStanding 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.
We can only hope that 2017 holds more in stock for us.
I remain Shalombrain.