Paramount pictures’ fantasy comedy film “What Men Want” takes the top spot on the Nigerian box office at the end of the week running 22 February 2019 to 28 February 2019. The Taraji P. Henson led comedy pushed Fox Movie’s Alita: Battle Angel to second place with Sony Picture’s Escape Room retaining its spot at No. 3 and Times Studio’s Cold Pursuit dropping from 2nd to 4th. Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World hold’s on strong to stay in the top 5, only dropping 8% of its revenue from last week. Hollywood reigns in this last week of February 2019, as all top 5 films are foreign projects.
“What Men Want” sits comfortably atop with a 7-Day Gross of N29million, nearly twice that of the second placed movie – Alita: Battle Angel. Circa half of that figure was accrued over the weekend (February 23rd & 24th, 2019) – ₦14,889,331 precisely. This is nearly twice the revenue generated by Alita: Battle Angel over the weekend, even though it is was on display in 5 locations more than the chart-topper, confirming how much more in-demand the fantasy comedy film is. The demand for the movie is however expected to wane over the following weeks, as there appears to be a pattern where debuting movies show strong data in the first week but the numbers wane over the weeks that follow as new films get released.
Majority of the top 10 movies are within their first three weeks of release, as only “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is up to a month old in the cinemas. Its extended stay in the top 5 could be attributed to the familiarity with the project as this is the third instalment and its universal appeal to audiences. The film is also doing well in North America, fending off Tyler Perry’s much-anticipated final piece of the nine-part Madea series to remain #1 on the Hollywood box office.
Amongst Nollywood films currently in cinemas, Mo Abudu’s “Chief Daddy” is the longest running (11 weeks) and highest grossing (₦386million), but is slowly finding its way out of the cinemas as it drops to No 12 this week. The second longest running film is Warner Bros.’ Aquaman which has grossed ₦451million in its 10weeks of screening.
Source: CEAN Nigeria
It is readable from the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) box office information that quite a number of movies, despite their relative newness, experienced significant drops in their numbers. This suggests that their appearance on the chart could be brief. Films like “Gully Boy” and “Sin City” recorded -89% and -80% despite being only a fortnight old. All it would take for their fickle position on the charts to be confirmed is for there to be one or two new entries over the coming weeks.
That Hollywood and Nollywood movies dominate the box office is expected but the presence of a few Bollywood exports on the charts may surprise a few, especially those who are oblivious to the fact that there are such options at the cinemas. There are two Bollywood movies on the box office which implies that the Indian diaspora population in Nigeria definitely show up to watch their films. Interestingly one of the films, “Total Dhamaal” is in the top 10 with a weekend gross of ₦1.7million.
Nonetheless, these movies typically do not stay long in the cinemas as their target audience is not that extensive and it is evident in the huge -89% percentage drop experienced by “Gully Boy” in just it’s second week. The distribution scale of Bollywood movies are clearly small when compared with movies from other markets. Hollywood movies like Alita: Battle Angel in their first two weeks are being shown in about 37 cinemas and one of the new Nollywood movies is being distributed across 16 cinemas, whereas both Bollywood films got to only 4 different cinema locations. What this suggests is that the demand for such movies is limited to certain locations, or perhaps the same 4 cinemas.
Summarily, the erratic position of some of the box office entrants for the week between 22 and 28 February 2019, might be because it has been a slow start of the year. Apart from What Men Want, the other new entrants came in at No 6, No 7 and No. 11. It is however expected that as the year goes on and more highly anticipated movies get released, the top 5 films will be filled with more new entrants than otherwise.
This time last year, Black Panther was reigning supreme. Over the next few weeks, we expect the release of Captain Marvel, Hellboy, Shazam, Avengers: Endgame, Spiderman: Far From Home and Coming From Insanity.