The Nigerian film industry has experienced remarkable and nearly immeasurable growth over the past decade. Recently, both Nollywood and the broader Nigerian entertainment sector were assessed as the country’s third-largest and most lucrative endeavours, boasting a staggering value of N3.8 trillion
As the curtains draw on 2023, the cinematic landscape has been ablaze with remarkable storytelling, gripping narratives, and stellar performances. From heart-pounding action thrillers to soul-stirring dramas, the silver screen has treated audiences to an unforgettable array of emotions and experiences.
As we reflect on the year’s cinematic offerings, let’s embark on a journey through the top seven cinema movies of 2023 that left an indelible mark on viewers and carved their names into the annals of film excellence. These are not merely movies; they are immersive experiences that transported us to worlds unknown and resonated with the essence of storytelling at its finest. Here are the top 7 cinema movies of 2023.
A Tribe Called Judah
A Tribe Called Judah, the latest cinematic masterpiece from the undisputed Queen of Nollywood, Funke Akindele, has once again affirmed her reign over the Nigerian cinema landscape. “A Tribe called Juda” released just 17 days ago, is a cinematic gem that has taken the industry by storm, grossing a remarkable N400 million within the first 12 days of its debut, according to Nairametrics.
Currently securing its place as the second-highest-grossing movie of 2023, as per Wikipedia’s compilation of the highest-grossing Nigerian cinema films, “A Tribe Called Judah” boasts an impressive domestic gross of N846,460,539, showcasing Funke Akindele’s unwavering influence and box office prowess.
Orisa by Odunlade Adekola
Renowned Nollywood actor and multiple award-winner, Odunlade Adekola, made a stellar debut as a filmmaker in the Nigerian box office. Despite his numerous roles in A-list cinematic productions, Odunlade had never ventured into film production until 2023 when he made a striking entrance.
His inaugural film, “Orisa,” hit the screens in July 2023 and has since achieved a remarkable N280 million in box office revenue. Surging to the third spot among the highest-grossing movies of 2023.
Renowned Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham, is basking in the triumph of her latest cinematic venture, “Malaika,” as it defies all expectations by raking in an astonishing N104 million within a mere eight days of its release.
The movie’s remarkable box office performance solidifies “Malaika” as a standout success in the world of Nollywood, as reported by FilmOne. According to Wikipedia’s compilation of the highest-grossing Nigerian cinema films, “Malaika” boasts an impressive domestic gross of N159,844,869, further attesting to its monumental impact on the cinematic landscape.
Merry Men 3
AY Makun’s comedy blockbuster, “Merry Men 3,” ascended to the top spot on the Nigerian box office charts, solidifying its status as the most-watched Nollywood movie within the first few weeks of its release.
Data retrieved from the Cinema Association of Nigeria reveals that “Merry Men 3” raked in a substantial N18.6 million initially, coupled with an additional N14.8 million from Monday, October 16th to October 19th, 2023. These impressive earnings accumulate to a remarkable N33.4 million since its grand debut on Saturday, October 13th, 2023.
“Merry Men 3” made a significant impact, achieving an impressive N100 million within the first four weeks of its release. According to the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), as of December 3, 2023, the crime comedy had amassed N117 million.
Mami Wata,” a cinematic creation by Nigerian movie producer Oge Obasi, proved that good things come to those who wait as it took him approximately seven years to craft this masterpiece. The film, which initially had an underwhelming performance with a meager N2.4 million in its opening weekend at the cinemas, defied expectations and soared to new heights.
“Mami Wata” triumphed at the AMAA awards, securing five prestigious awards, and earned a nomination for Best African Movie of 2023 at the Sundance Awards. Notably, it stands as the first Nigerian movie to receive an Oscar nomination. Currently, the film has reached a remarkable peak, amassing a substantial N108 million.
Ada Omo Daddy
“Ada Omo Daddy,” a film starring Mercy Aigbe released on December 15, features a cast of renowned Nigerian celebrities, including Adeniyi Johnson, Carol King, Charles Okafor, Dele Odule, Sola Sobowale, Taiwo Adeyemi, Unusual Phyna, Tayo Faniyan, Tomi Ojo, Nkechi Blessing, and others.
The storyline revolves around Ireti, whose carefully constructed reality unravels as her past collides with the present on her daughter’s introduction day.
According to Wikipedia’s list of the highest-grossing cinema movies in Nigeria, it has achieved a domestic gross of N104,161,294.
“Kesari” stood out as the first Indigenous Nigerian title to claim the top spot at the box office, marking a significant achievement.
Co-directed by Tope Adebayo and Ibrahim ‘Itele D Icon’ Yekini, and co-produced by Itele d’Icon Film Production and FilmOne Production, Kesari made its debut in 52 cinema locations nationwide on August 25, 2023, amidst competition from Hollywood favorites such as Blue Beetle, Barbie, Meg 2: The Trench, and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.
Despite this competitive landscape, Kesari had a successful weekend opening, securing the number one position. In its initial three days, the film earned N21.50 million, accumulating a domestic gross of ₦77,161,925.