If a year has been both a boring and an exhilarating ride at the same time for the Nollywood industry, it’d be 2023. The Nollywood industry in the past 10 years has experienced exponential growth which was reflected in the movies released within the industry.
The year has been a great year for the industry in terms of revenues, movie productions, box office records, and even influence. Sitting pretty as one of the primary drivers of theatrical growth in west Africa and also Nigeria’s third most lucrative sector and part of the highest employers of Labour.
The 2023 year began on a hyped note with “Battle on buka Street” entering the new year and sprinkling in the last vibes of quality from 2022. While we can say 2022 was a good year in Nollywood because of blockbusters like chief daddy, Brotherhood, Anikulapo, etc, 2023 was better as these movies raised the bar and set the pace for a formidable and better movie year in the following month.
Nollywood stories this year were more relatable than any normal as most of the stories were based on stories, not only assumptions. The films released made sure not to give us the usual bland and shallow taste we would normally get, but instead worked towards leaving a deep story In most of this year’s releases.
Nollywood 2023 releases were characterized by mostly beautiful stories and unconventional acting aimed at entertaining, teaching or simply making you a part of an interesting story. Movies like No Way Through, one who got away, Blood Vessels, Gangs of Lagos, etc., Made sure to portray this in one of the best ways recorded. Nollywood movies felt easier to watch this time because at the least, we had this confidence that we were going to get the value of our time and data.
Most of 2023 Nollywood movies were more reality based than any other with striking examples like Shanty Town, Madam Koi Koi, Dark October, Gangs Of Lagos, Jagun Jagun, Blood Vessel, No way through, amongst others. I felt the need to watch more Nollywood movies this year after seeing a few because I felt confident that it would be good.
2023 Nollywood year in terms of revenues, worth and records was a great one as the industry flew to N2.6 billion in revenue, which is over 20% increase from the N2.1 billion Revenue in 2022. Says a lot in revenue. The industry is also worth at the value of N3.8 naira making it one of the nation’s highest employers of labor.
Generally, it was a good year with blockbusters topping the charts, but as expected, December/January always records the Highest grossing movies and this year was not an exception with A tribe called Judah, Malika and Omo Daddy topping the charts and setting new records within weeks of their release is a formadidable and outstanding results which further emphasis the quality and trust we have come to build around nollywood movies within the year.
The various streaming platforms were optimally set and packed with quality. Though majority of Nollywood films in 2023, could be found on YouTube, I can confidently say that they too joined the wave of serving Qualities and being in front of the charts with Ruth Kadiri 24/7, Uduak Isong TV, Uche Mbunabo TV all leading the path and being on the frontline with top of the charts movies like “My better half, Selina, etc., All keeping us on our toes and serving quality both in cinematography and acting despite being streamed on the infamous video platform. On the other hand, Movies like A tribe called Judah, Malaika, Omo Daddy, WURA, And Agu will be spilling over into the new year and giving us a headstart with great movies.
According to the Editi Effiong, the director of Black book in a Twitter post, he held that there are available investors and sponsors for any movie if you have a great story line and this in itself indicates that there’s been more fundings within the Nollywood industry which thankfully have given us optimal quality and better story while making space for increased marketing budgets and profitability. At least, now we can confidently say there is more funding within the industry.
Looking back, it’s been a great year for the film industry both in funding and box office records and looking forward we can peep into what this will possibly mean for the coming year.
Nollywood movies this season have raised the bar of storytelling a lot higher causing a ripple effect that will be felt across the industry in no time. What this implies is that we are most likely going to be seeing better and more engaging stories in the coming years while witnessing a very significant reduction in the usual everyday Nollywood stories we have come to almost get used to. We also expect more efforts to be put into marketing and promotion with new styles subsequently being adopted in these aspects.
While Nollywood has the potential to take over West African Cinemas and give them the highest performing movies, it’s only a matter of time and combined efforts of everyone within the industry.
By Miracle Marcus