Naira scarcity, elections hit Nigerian cinema as revenue drops from N819m to N278m

Ope Ajayi

The Nigerian film industry is experiencing lull due to the ongoing elections and naira crisis occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency redesign.

The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) gave the indication on Tuesday as it said it realisedonly N278 million as ticket sales across cinemas in the month of February, nationwide.

Mr Ope Ajayi, CEAN’s National Chairman, who, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, added that the cinemas also had 122,295 gross admission within the period under review.
Cinemas experienced a drastic decline in sales in February when compared with N819 million sales made in January.
Ajayi blamed the cash crunch and poor network service delivery being experienced by POS operators nationwide for the decline in sales.

He similarly noted that cinemas experienced an all time lull in the week of the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
He explained further that cinemas had limited content to exhibit in the month of February, as movie producers avoided releasing movies during the election period.
“A couple of reasons are responsible for the drop in sales. We lost a weekend of sales during the Presidential and National Assembly elections, Nigerians’ attention was focused on voting across the country.

“Cash crunch and POS failures, affecting trading generally is also affecting the cinemas.
“Many movie producers and distributors avoided releasing movies during the election period. So, content was also somewhat limited,” he said.
Ajayi said the top films exhibited in cinemas across the country in February were “Antman” and “Love in a pandemic”.
He listed films to watch out for in the month of March as : “Creed III”, “What love got to do with it”, “Shazam fury of the gods”, “John Wick iv”, “Different strokes” and “Dungeons and Dragons83”.

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