18 May 2017

Nigeria: Nollywood - Filmhouse Follows Up Biggest Grossing Film Ever With the Wedding Party: Part 2 - Destination Dubai, Also Five Other New Films

London — Nigeria's Filmhouse Cinemas and Film One Distribution have quietly built themselves a significant audience in their cinemas by giving them something slightly better than run-of-the-mill Nollywood films. Released late last year, their Rom-Com The Wedding Party has already become the biggest box office hit in terms of gross revenues. Russell Southwood spoke to Moses Bapatope, Group Executive Director, Filmhouse Cinemas and Film One Distribution and Production and Executive Producer, The Wedding Party

The man who executive produced The Wedding Party started life as a student working for the UK cinema chain, Odeon Cinemas. He worked his way up to become a Manager at the Odeon Greenwich. Here he started promoting Nollywood cinema events. He ran the first Nollywood film premiere (The Successor) in a mainstream cinema chain in 2006. I first met him in 2011 when came to talk to me about these events before he went back to Nigeria to work at Filmhouse.

So why was The Wedding Party such a big hit?:"Timing was really good for us. Over the years we've been cultivating an audience and over the years the quality of film-making in Nigeria has been getting better. 2016 was the year where we got a bit more recognized critically by the world of film."

It had eight films in the 2016 Toronto Film Festival - one of which was The Wedding Party - and it also had 76 shown at the London Film Festival::"(The Wedding Party's) a story that Nigerians would have loved to have seen themselves in."

Netflix bought it and although he's not seen the formal use figures yet, he can see it appearing all over social media:"We're very happy with what we've been hearing so far". He thinks that Netflix is a great platform because it bridges a gap in reaching the Nigerian and African diasporas.

The gross for the film so far has been N452 million, which is about US$1.4 million at the official rate from showing in 29 screens:"We're still just scratching the surface... That's maybe 450,000 tickets and if you take out the repeat visits, that's around 350,000 unique visits in a country with an addressable audience of 60 million".

"When you hit 1 million admissions on a film, that's when you'll begin to see that this is really oil business. I think we're getting there as we get bolder and more bullish in opening cinemas we'll begin to see more record numbers.

Its follow-up, Wedding Party - Part 2: Destination Dubai will be released in December 2018 and will be part of a slate of five films, including one from comedian AY. The full list of films can be found in the video clip interview at the end of this article.

"We have an idea of the quality demands of our audience and what amounts of money we should be spending to give them the product they want."

Background Briefing - Inside Emerging Nollywood

Moses Babatope, Executive Producer, The Wedding Party on The Wedding Party Pt 2 Destination Dubai

Serge Noukoue on why Nollywood Week is in Paris and his future plans for the festival

30 Days in Atlanta producer and comedian AY on his film A Trip To Jamaica

Typical Top Stories will keep your finger on the pulse and have included:

Kwesé TV signs distribution deals with Africa's mobile operators for Kwese Play Roku box and mobile streaming - 40% of channels exclusive

Ad Boycott of You Tube hits African creators and channel operators as revenues sink - Brands need to know it's costing African jobs

Africa-based Trace TV launches TracePlay, first urban and afro urban mobile pay platform globally -"We're doing in 2 weeks what Netflix did in 10 years."

If you would like to subscribe, just send an email to info@balancingact-africa.com with Digital Content Africa in the title line.

Smart Monkey TV is our web TV channel that tracks what Africa's Creators and Innovators are saying and doing. It now has 1722 subscribers. Five of the latest video clip interviews that are relevant for you are below. Subscribe by clicking on this link:

Peter Langmead on Zambia's first musical feature film Damyna

Riccardo Pasqualotto on how Mobihunter represents both brands and online publications across Africa

Thomas Imboywa, NAICCON on Kenya's comic culture and its Nairobi Comic Convention

Judy Kibinge, Docubox on three documentaries it funded that are just nearing completion

Warrick Percy, Capasso on the switch to digital music and its relationship with mobile operators

Nigeria

Unions React to Govt's Move to Implement 'No Work, No Pay' ‎During Strikes

Labour officials have faulted the plan by the federal government to implement the 'No work No pay" rule over workers'… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Balancing Act. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.