Currently, the largest markets by box office are United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan and India; and the countries with the largest number of film productions are India, Nigeria, and the United States. Other centers include Hong Kong and in Europe the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany are the countries that lead movie production. The worldwide theatrical market had a box office of US$38.3 billion in 2015. The top three continents/regions by box office gross were: Asia-Pacific with US$14.1 billion, North America with US$11.1 billion and Europe, the Middle East and North Africa with US$9.7 billion.Distinct from the centers are the locations where movies are filmed. Because of labor and infrastructure costs, many films are produced in countries other than the one in which the company which pays for the film is located. For example, many U.S. movies are filmed in Canada, many Nigerian movies are filmed in Ghana, while many Indian movies are filmed in the Americas, Europe, Singapore tc.
Nollywood: The history of Nigerian film industry
Nigerian cinema is Africa’s largest movie industry in terms value and the number of movies produced per year. Although Nigerian films have been produced since the 1960s, the rise of affordable digital filming and editing technologies has stimulated the country’s film and video industry. Nigeria’s film industry is currently ranked as the 2nd largest film industry in the world (after India) based on the number of films released per year. The film industry is worth over US$3.5 billion.
The movie capital of the country is majorly Lagos. However, regional films are also produced in various parts of the country depending on the language.
The cinema of Nigeria, often referred to as Nollywood, consists of films produced in Nigeria; its history dates back to as early as the late 19th century and into the colonial era in early 1900s. The history and development of the Nigerian motion picture industry is sometimes generally classified in four main eras: the Colonial era, Golden Age, Video film era and the emerging New Nigerian cinema.
Film as a medium first arrived Nigeria in the late 19th century, in the form of peephole viewing of motion picture devices. These were soon replaced in early 20th century with improved motion picture exhibition devices, with the first set of films screened at the Glover Memorial Hall in Lagos from 12 to 22 August 1903. The earliest feature film made in Nigeria is the 1926’s Palaver produced by Geoffrey Barkas; the film was also the first film ever to feature Nigerian actors in a speaking role. As at 1954, mobile cinema vans played to at least 3.5 million people in Nigeria, and films being produced by the Nigerian Film Unit were screened for free at the 44 available cinemas. The first film entirely copyrighted to the Nigerian Film unit is Fincho (1957) by Sam Zebba; which is also the first Nigerian film to be shot in colour.
After Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the cinema business rapidly expanded, with new cinema houses being established. As a result, Nigerian content in theatres increased in the late 1960s into the 1970s, especially productions from Western Nigeria, owing to former theatre practitioners such as Hubert Ogunde and Moses Olaiya transitioning into the big screen. In 1972, the Indigenization Decree was issued by Yakubu Gowon, which demands the transfer of ownership of about a total of 300 film theatres from their foreign owners to Nigerians, which resulted in more Nigerians playing active roles in the cinema and film. The oil boom of 1973 through 1978 also contributed immensely to the spontaneous boost of the cinema culture in Nigeria, as the increased purchasing power in Nigeria made a wide range of citizens to have disposable income to spend on cinema going and on home television sets.
After several moderate performing films, Papa Ajasco (1984) by Wale Adenuga became the first blockbuster, grossing approximately ₦61,000 (approx. 2015 ₦21,552,673) in three days. A year later, Mosebolatan (1985) by Moses Olaiya also went ahead to gross ₦107,000 (approx. 2015 ₦44,180,499) in five days.
After the decline of the Golden era, Nigerian film industry experienced a second major boom in the 1990s, supposedly marked by the release of the direct-to-video film Living in Bondage (1992); the industry peaked in the mid 2000s to become the second largest film industry in the world in terms of the number of annual film productions, placing it ahead of the United States and behind only India. The started dominating screens across the African continent and by extension, the Caribbeans and the diaspora, with the movies significantly influencing cultures, and the film actors becoming household names across the continent. The boom also led to backlash against Nigerian films in several countries, bordering on theories such as the “Nigerialization of Africa”. Since mid-2000s, the Nigerian cinema have undergone some restructuring to promote quality and professionalism, with The Figurine(2009) widely regarded as marking the major turn around of contemporary Nigerian cinema. There have since been a resurgence cinema establishments, and a steady return of the cinema culture in Nigeria. As of 2013, Nigerian cinema is rated as the third most valuable film industry in the world based on its worth and revenues generated.
The Legend of Nigerian Film industry
Oloye Hubert Adedeji Ogunde (31 May 1916 – 4 April 1990) was a Nigerian actor, playwright, theatre manager, and musician who founded the Ogunde Concert Party in (1945), the first professional theatrical company in Nigeria. He has been described as “the father of Nigerian theatre, or the father of contemporary Yoruba theatre”.
Moses Olaiya (born 1936),better known by his stage name “Baba Sala”, is a Nigerian comedian, dramatist and actor.
A Yoruba from Ijesha, Baba Sala, regarded as the father of modern Nigerian comedy, alongside other dramatists like Hubert Ogunde, Kola Ogunmola, Oyin Adejobi and Duro Ladipo popularized television and threat her acting in Nigeria.
Picture credits: Google image