I am certain that when Funke Akindele and her team conceived the movie, A Tribe Called Judah, they must have expected the movie to at least gross 500 million naira. She had done that before and she had every tool and experience to make another blockbuster.
What no one could have predicted was that, the movie would gross over a billion naira, in just 20 days. I predicted 500 million naira myself, but after seeing the figure it made at the box office in one week, I was forced to increase my expectations, that I now pegged at a billion naira. But did I imagine it would come in less than 3 weeks? No, I never dreamt of it.
This milestone has not come without its own criticisms, especially from those who believe the fall of the naira led to the increase of ticket cost. Others have out rightly condemned the ticket prices as they deemed it too expensive. For context, tickets sold as much as 8,000 naira in some cinemas, in a nation where minimum wage is a measly 30,000 naira.
This is not to take the shine away from a movie that was properly scripted and executed. The effects were brilliant, the story was relatable, and the actors were on their A game. Furthermore, the marketing of the movie has been excellent. Everywhere you turn, it is A Tribe Called Judah. Our X, Instagram and Facebook feeds were messed up with reviews and promotions of the movie. Funke Akindele herself has not slept or slumbered, she has continued to grease her well oiled PR machine, taking time out herself to market and promote the movie.
This is the first of many to gross 1 billion naira, and were it not for the fact that Nigeria is a poverty stricken nation with a vast majority of Nigerians living under the poverty line, this movie should have grossed even more.
The absence of cinemas in many areas in Nigeria is also a drawback to the amount a movie will gross. My Local Government Area for example does not have a single cinema. The effect of this is that, people from that Local Government Area have not seen that movie, or have seen that movie through pirated mediums, one of which is a link to the movie that is currently trending on Telegram.
It is good news for Nollywood and Nigeria. Things are looking well in the industry, and maybe just finally, we can have industry players who would not have to resort to soliciting for public funds when they are aged or ill.
It is also a wakeup call to those who are sleeping on the industry and its offerings. It is now very obvious that the industry can offer lots of return on investments, and that Nigerian filmmakers are super talented.
A tribe called Judah is the first of many, and I can only wish Funke Akindele and her brilliant team goodluck in future endeavors, as well as to thank them for bringing this joy to life.