Nigeria’s Movie Industry Becomes Third Richest Globally

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VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria’s film industry – Nollywood – has ranked third in revenue generation globally, behind US’ Hollywood and India’s Bollywood, respectively, despite challenges undermining its true potential.

In a BusinessDay report, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) MD, Robert Orya was reported to have said Nollywood generated close to 126.4 billion naira ($800 million) revenue within 2010 till date.

According to the report, the global film and entertainment industry generated about 14.3 trillion naira ($90.6billion) revenue in 2010 which is expected to increase to 16.2 trillion naira ($102.7 billion) in 2012.

Orya speaking on global entertainment industry revenue generation, said most of the revenue channels come from “theatrical distribution,” with North America accounting for the largest market share of about 40 percent. Africa, Europe and Middle East make up for 24 percent, Latin America, 20 percent and Asia Pacific accounting for a meagre three percent contribution.

With an average production of over 2,500 movies per year– 2,408, 2,514 and 2,621 in 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively, Nigeria ranks has Africa’s largest producer. Bollywood on the other hand churns out an average of 800 movies yearly, which is more than double the amount of feature films produced by Hollywood.

Like many industry watchers, Mildred Okwo, former US-based film maker and producer agrees that Nollywood is a potential multi-billion dollar industry, underdeveloped and undermined by poor distribution framework, piracy and poor funding.

Orya said at a media briefing: “Aside piracy, there are still genuine concerns regarding distribution, developing a proper framework for the industry, and of course the problem of funding.”

According to Okwo, California, home of the world’s largest movie industry and the ninth largest economy in the world, did not feel the pinch of the global recession due to immune internal revenues generated from the movie making industry.

Mildred believes Nollywood can contribute much to the GDP of Africa’s second largest economy, which is poised to grow with continued investment and development in the oil rich country.