Long before their arrival cinema lovers in Nigeria had been left with no option for local content. We get to see the Hollywood stars and their antics on big screen. Many wondered when it would be our turn, by our turn they mean when will Nollywood stars and producers start hitting the big screen? The question was answered when Stephanie Okereke’s movie, Through The Glass, debuted at the cinema in 2009.
Through The Glass was the movie that shattered the seemly illusionary glass that prevented our movie from shining through in cinemas. The movie, which was the first job Stephanie directed and produced, grossed over N10 million in cinema.
While still celebrating the success of Stephanie’s movie, Kunle came with The Figurine. The movie was an instant hit. It became the first Nigerian box office hit. The movie grossed over N27 million in cinema. There were even reports that it grossed close to N30 million after it was re-released during the festive period. The Figurine features Ramsey Nuoah, Omoni Oboli, Kunle Afolayan, and Funlola Aofiyebi.
Ije is Nigeria’s highest selling movie of all time. With gross earning of over N57 million, Ije is the movie to beat. With certificate from the New York Film Academy, a bag full of money and a head full of wit, Chineze gave us a movie we were all proud of, a movie that beat Hollywood at its own game in the cinema. The movie remains second highest selling movie of all-time in Nigeria, next only to Avatar. The movie features Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji.
After these big three comes Anchor Baby. Of all these producers, Lonzo Nzekwe, producer of Anchor Baby, is the only person without a New York Film Academy education. This self-taught filmmaker, as he likes to call himself, experimented with the idea of producing and marketing a movie without an A-list star. Through the Glass has Stephanie, Ije has Omotola and Genevieve, Figurine has Ramsey Nouah, Kunle Afolayan, but Anchor Baby has only Omoni Oboli. Not that Omoni isn’t big; but she wasn’t this big at the time Anchor Baby debuted.
So, many didn’t give Canadian-based Lonzo a chance in the cinema. But he succeeded where others failed. So far, the movie is doing its ninth week in the cinema and has grossed N15 million. Lonzo has made nonsense of the conventional belief that you need overly-established stars in your movie before it can sell. And for the record, the lanky ex-basketball player publicised his movie like no other in 2010/2011. The movie was adjudged the most publicised of all time.
After these four movies, Guilty Pleasure came and did over N3 million, while Champions of our Time did about N2.3 million, no one could say for sure how much Save our Souls did, but one thing is sure, more Nigerian movies will give their Hollywood counterparts a run for their money.