The Nigerian movie industry grew in leaps and bounds in 2016, waxing stronger like its international counterpart across the world. Nollywood could boast of blockbuster films that performed better than international movies released in Nigeria at the cinema. Here are some of the best movies Nollywood boast of in 2016.
THE WEDDING PARTY
When The Wedding Party premiered in 2016, Nigerians were expectant because it was coming from the stable of one of the leading and reputable movie producers in Nigeria, “Ebony Life TV”
We were in no way surprised when the movie broke box office records at every milestone. Within two weeks, The Wedding Party surpassed AY’s A Trip To Jamaica grossing with N200 million before the New Year weekend was over. It was a sold out screen throughout the holidays, as excited fans that saw earlier screening returned for a second round, often with friends and family in tow.
Much of the appeal of the film was due to a heartwarming storyline, beautiful set and gorgeous costumes. Most of the audience could identify with the lavish Nigerian wedding, contentious relatives and almost chaotic proceeding that defy even the most careful planning.
The Wedding Party sold more tickets than international films such as ‘Rogue One’ part of Star War franchise and biggest films worldwide in 2016. For the first time, Nollywood competed with Hollywood at the Nigerian box office and won.
The Nigerian romantic comedy drama film was directed by Kemi Adetiba, it premiered on September 8, 2016 at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and on November 26, 2016 at Eko Hotel and Suites. Made up of cast like Ali Baba, Richard Mode-Damijo, Sola Sobowale, Ireti Doyle, Adesua Etomi and Banky W.
A TRIP TO JAMAICA
A Trip to Jamaica was another blockbuster that broke box office revenues of all the big budget Hollywood titles released in 2016 here in Nigeria. The likes of Batman vs Superman, Captain America, Suicide Squad, London Has Fallen, Gods of Egypt, Transporter, Doctor Strange, Tarzan, Magnificent 7, Centra Intelligence were no match for what A Trip To Jamaica raked in. The movie made all of N168 million revenue at the box office. It was the first film to hit N35 million in its first weekend and the first film to hit N62 million in its first week.
Reputed to also be the film to generate N100 million in 17 days and the fastest film to generate N150 million in six weeks.
It had talented actors and actresses such as AY, Funke Akindele, Nse Npe Etim, Robert Dan Davies, Paul Campbell, Chris Ator. Produced by Ayo Makun, while Moses Babatope was the executive director.
76 defined the place of Nollywood in the international film market and also set the pace for emergence of a new film culture in Africa. It made its debut in 2016 at the TIFF Toronto.
The historical fiction film was produced by Adonaiyah Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu and directed by Izu Ojukwu. Starring the likes of Ramson Noauh, Chidi Mokeme, Rita Dominic, Ibinabo Fiberesima. Cinemas across the country witnessed more crowd as movie lovers thronged in to see the epic movie.
The movie is rich in theme by highlighting the enduring Nigerian cultural values of courage, resilience, patience, loyalty, faith and family.
WIVES ON STRIKE
Wives on Strike gave delectable actress cum producer, Omoni Oboli a new image as one who knows her onions. The film reportedly grossed N51 million in 17 days of its debut in cinema houses nationwide. Even in its fourth week at the cinema, movie lovers still thronged the cinema to watch it. The movie eventually grossed over N67 million in the box office. Starring the likes of Omoni Oboli, Uche Jumbo-Rodriguez, Ufuoma McDermott, Kehinde Bankole, Julius Agwu, Kenneth Okonkwo.
Premiered on April 5, 2016, the movie is a hilarious comedy about a group of market women who decided to take matters into their own hands against their husbands in a bid to stir them into standing up for a young girl whom they wanted to protect from the manipulation of her own father.
93 Days might not raked in millions at the box office, it was still a success and one of the best movies of 2016. Rich in theme and cast, 93 Days celebrates the act of doing what is right, selfless service and making a difference in the world. The heroic, selfless service and sacrifice made by late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh during the Ebola crisis in Nigeria was aptly displayed. Directed by Steve Gukas and produced by Permon Rami, Bolanle Austen Peters and Dotun Olakunri. The movie was selected for viewing at the Chicago International Film Festival on Thursday, October 20, 2016. It was also premiered in Nigeria and Toronto International Film Festival.
The compelling characters kept the movie grounded as it took 93 Days to battle and contain the virus.
Bimbo Akintola played the role of Dr. Adadevoh of the First Consultant Hospital, Danny Glover, Tim Reid, Keppy Ekpenyong Bassey, Tina Mba, Gideon Okeke, Paul Adams made up the cast, amongst others.
Award winning producer, Kunle Afolayan’s movie was premiered amidst pomps and pageantry on board Air France flight to Paris, France. Set on a beautiful beach resort on the outskirt of Lagos, C.E.O., a mystery thriller surrounding five top executives from across Africa who were dispatched on a one week leadership retreat by a multinational telecommunication firm to determine which one to appoint as the firm’s new CEO. Things went awry when one by one the executives were eliminated in sudden death circumstances. The movie grossed N60 million at the box office.
- SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN