Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nigerian Box Office: Almajiri Flops with ₦5 million

Opening in Nigerian cinemas on June 23, 2023, the figures from the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) show that the new title made only ₦5,425,050 across 54 locations over the weekend.

This is low even by Nigerian standards considering that other 2023 releases like Domitilla: The Reboot opened with ₦10 million, and The Kujus Again raked in ₦17 million in its first week.

Over the years, AY has made a name for himself as the Nollywood Box Office King by consistently putting out commercially successful films.

His last movie, Christmas in Miami (2021), earned ₦265,583,000 and is still one of the highest-grossing local films of all time.

Prior projects, Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons (2018) and Merry Men 2: Another Mission (2019), brought in ₦235,628,358 and ₦234,505,169, respectively.

Although proven by the recognition the movie received before its release at the 2022 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (TINFF), where the movie won twelve awards, the movie failed to live up to the billing.

Read Also: Box Office: Transformers Remains On Top with ₦54 million

Directed by Toka McBaror and co-produced by Darlington Abudu, the movie stars Alex Ekubo, Annie Idibia, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Segun Arinze, Ali Nuhu, Rahama Sadau, Sani Danja, Broda Shaggi, and AY.

Based on true stories, Almajiri follows two young children who were separated from their parents by Alhaji Makarfi. Under his ‘care’, they deal with chronic illness, abuse, trafficking, drug addiction, poverty, violence, and forms of child slavery.

While this is no doubt an extremely important issue, the domestic box office has shown time and time again that comedy sells most of the time, so it should go without saying that choosing to tell this story should have come with an extremely fat marketing budget.

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