The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable negative impact on the film industry in 2020 and 2021. As the world starts to open up, Nigeria’s cinema industry is gradually making up for lost time, with ticket sales doubling the figures realised in 2020. According to the figures from the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), the total weekend movie ticket sales rose by 100% to N2.4 billion in 2021 from N1.2 billion in 2020. This is still 41.% lower than the N4.1 billion recorded as ticket sales in 2019. However, the box office numbers show that 2022 is off to a great start. Here’s a list of highest-grossing movies at the box office in January 2022:
Christmas in Miami – N260,541,250
Christmas in Miami, the fourth instalment of the AKPOS film series created by Nigerian comedian Ayo Makun was released on December 24, 2021, and has remained on the ‘Top 20 Films’ list as one of the highest-grossing movies in January 2022. The Akpos Christmas-themed movie broke the Nollywood box office record by making N100 million in the first 5 days of its release. So far, it remains one of the highest-grossing movies in the Box Office this year with a total of N260,541,250. With Ayo Makun, Richard Mofe Damijo, and Osita Iheme in the lead roles, Akpos flies off to the exotic city of Miami with his family as a representative of Nigeria at the Intercontinental Christmas Fiesta. Christmas in Miami is a multi-ethnic story of unity in diversity that celebrates our differences and similarities. Critics though have made their opinions known and have commented on how the movie lacks discernment in breaking down its concepts.
Aki and Pawpaw – N134,427,849
18 years after Aki Na Ukwa (2003), the first movie of the Aki and PawPaw franchise, a remake of the movie ‘Aki and Pawpaw’ premiered on December 17, 2021, during the Christmas holidays. As of January this year, Aki and Pawpaw has made N134,427,849, earning a spot on the list of highest-grossing Nollywood movies. The movie tells the story of the two boys who are now living in Lagos with their uncle, working at a pepper soup joint owned by Mama Nki (Toyin Abraham), and at the same time, daydreaming about getting rich. They come across Samantha (Chioma Okafor) who uploads one of their mischievous acts online and transforms them into overnight social media sensations. They become wealthy and are forced to deal with the heavy baggage that comes along with fame and wealth. With the lead cast such as Chinedu Ikedieze, Osita Iheme, and Amaechi Muonagor brought back, the movie featured additional (new) casts such as Toyin Abraham, Uti Nwachukwu, Beverly Osu amongst others.
Superstar – N62,555,100
Superstar, an Inkblot Productions movie, hit the cinema on December 29, 2021, and has currently amassed N62,555,100 at the box office. Superstar tells the story of an actress, Queen (Nancy Isime) whose parents wanted her to study law at the University but had a passion for acting and decided to study theatre arts instead. She strives to make a name for herself, earn respect and stardom in contemporary Nollywood. As all her efforts seem to be continuously meddled with, she is confronted with a lot of romantic and life issues as she ploughs her way to stardom. This movie further explores Queen’s struggle with her complicated journey and love interests. She seems to be firmly rooted in the grip of her first love interest played by Timini Egbuson, who seems to be a carefree person. Superstar is still sitting pretty on the list of highest-grossing Nollywood movies as of January 2022.
Dinner At My Place – N11,567,565
Dinner At My Place is a short Rom-com movie by award-winning filmmaker “Kevin Apaa” released in Cinemas Nationwide on January 28, 2022. This movie opened with a top-ranking debut at the Nigerian box office over the weekend it was released and quickly proceeded to top the box office rankings with N11,567,565 from 60 nationwide openings, the highest from the three-day period. The movie relays the story of Nonso (Timini Egbuson), a Nigerian-American man with intentions of proposing to his girlfriend, Donna (Sophie Alakija). He invites her over to his place for dinner, hides the engagement ring inside the soup for Donna to eventually find it but his plans are thwarted when his dramatic ex-girlfriend (Bisola Aiyeola) unexpectedly turns up. Dinner At My Place has a lot of humour and at the same time lots of drama, intrigue and suspense.
Over Her Dead Body – N 7,372,300
Over Her Dead Body, a Nollywood movie packaged by Pen Pusher Productions, a film and television content company based in Lagos, started showing in nationwide cinemas on January 7, 2022. In less than a month, the movie made over N7 million. This movie paints the picture of a mother who decides it’s high time she had grandchildren and begins interfering in the lives of her son and daughter-in-law. Over Her Dead Body is a comedy-drama that portrays mothers and the undeniable influence they have on their sons. It makes a perfect representation of mothers, sons and the unlucky women who try to come between them. The movie features A-list actors like the award-winning Nse Ikpe-Etim as Zara and Binta Ayo Mogaji as Mama (Zara’s mother-in-law).