EbonyLife Films’ Chief Daddy has become the third Nollywood film in the history of Nigerian cinema to break the elusive N300 million barrier. After just 24 days of release, the Niyi Akinmolayan film clocked N301,815,569 at the box-office to solidify its position as the third-highest-grossing Nollywood movie of all time.
Although Chief Daddy is some distance behind The Wedding Party (N453 million) and The Wedding Party 2(N502 million), the pace of its performance suggests that there is every possibility that it will close the gap considerably. After 24 days, The Wedding Party had grossed slightly more at N303,372,409, suggesting that if Chief Daddy’s run continues into February it may emulate these two blockbusters.
As the producer of all three movies at the top of the all-time box office chart, EbonyLife Films has become a dominant presence in Nigerian cinema, combining relatively high production values with strong marketing campaigns to create hit films. In less than four years, EbonyLife has released five titles with combined box office returns of more than N1.4 billion – an average of N280 million per film.
The success of Chief Daddy, Merry Men and King of Boys, which all passed the N200 million mark in 2018, may signal the beginning of a new era for Nollywood. If scripts and production quality continue to improve and more cinemas continue to open across Nigeria, box office returns of N100 million or more may become commonplace for the top local films. What has become evident already is that Nigerian films are taking on Hollywood blockbusters and winning. Although Aquaman posted higher revenues due to higher ticket prices for its 3D and IMAX screenings, more viewers went to see Chief Daddy, making it the most-watched movie over the holidays.
Moses Babatope, COO of FilmOne Distribution has been pleasantly surprised by the film’s performance. “To be perfectly honest, we didn’t see this coming. Chief Daddy’s gross revenues are virtually neck-and-neck withThe Wedding Party at the same point in its cinema run.”
Mo Abudu, Executive Producer, is extremely grateful. “We have to thank God for the success of this film and the way that audiences have embraced it. The writer, director, cast and crew gave everything in this labour of love and I’m so happy that all their hard work is being rewarded. Also, our distribution, PR and marketing teams have done so much behind the scenes to get us to this point. I’m excited about what is yet to come!”
Chief Daddy is still showing in cinemas across Nigeria and at Silverbird cinemas in Accra, Ghana.