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Here’re Nollywood’s highest-grossing movies of 2021

Nigeria’s box office generated N278m in February

The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (ceanigeria) an association of cinema owners, operators, and managers incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria has released its top 10 highest-grossing Nollywood releases of 2021.

The Nollywood movie industry has given their best movies yet of the post-pandemic era and has, in turn, received huge annual box office returns, the biggest yet of the post-pandemic era. In this article, we’ll be doing the countdown of the movies based on the earnings collated from January 1 2021 to December 31, 2021, and give constructive criticisms based on high acclaim by a broad cross-section of the best critic websites and social media platforms. It is listed in an descending order:

Dwindle – N43 million

Released on July 16, 2021, Dwindle tells the story of Nedu and Buta & Tolani, and Juliet; over the course of a couple of days, in which a series of unfortunate events befall them. The story also sees the two friends Sogo and Buta, who hijack a car and venture into cabbing while they run into assassins who have just kidnapped the governor. It was produced by Mimi Bartels for Filmone productions and directed by Kayode Kasum and Dare Olaitan. It stars Funke Akindele, Bisola Aiyeola, Jidekene Achufusi, Gregory Ojefua, Broda Shaggi, Adedimeji Lateef, Timini Egbuson, and others. though praised for its feel-good comedy, the movie is often criticized for looking like the director, kasum’s older works ( sugar rush, 2019 and vibes of Ponzi, 2021).

Soole – N49 million

Another movie directed by Kayode Kasum starring some Nollywood actors like Sola Sobowale, Adunni Ade, Lateef Adedimeji, Mike Folarin, and others hit theatres on 26 November 2021. The movie follows a group of travelers who take a cheap bus to Enugu State and on their way experience a series of unfortunate events on their way. The movie which shows the growth of the movie industry with quality sound and crisp visuals is constructively criticized for its desultory storyline by movie analysts but enjoyed by most moviegoers as it tries to merge the realities of unfortunate road travelers with fictional action content. The movie is still shown on cinema screens across the country at the time of writing.

Bad Comments – N66 million

Bad Comments is a fast-paced drama/thriller with a few comic moments thrown in for good measure. It is based on genuine events and depicts the lives of celebrities and how their careers might be jeopardized by lies spread by social media trolls. Released on August 27 2021 the movie is often praised by critics for its storytelling by Moses Inwang. The positive reviews were unexpected, but the cast, which included Jim Iyke, Chiwetelu Agu, Yemi Blaq, Edward Chukwuma-Diah, and others, did a fantastic job on screen.

Breaded life – N88 million

Regarded by some movie critics as one of the best movies of 2021, Breaded life didn’t seem like much on its initial debut in the cinemas on April 16, 2021. Breaded Life follows the adventures of an arrogant and spoiled son who comes from a wealthy home and is made to learn life lessons the hard way. It follows a misunderstood but bratty young man played by Timini Egbuson who falls in love with a bread seller played by Bimbo Ademoye. A reviewer noted that “Breaded Life “hit the right notes but had some flaws relating to the plot twist at the end and the general message of the film. The movie grossed about ₦10 million in the opening weekend and ₦32 million by the second week

Ayinla – N91 million

Released on June 18, 2021, Ayinla is a film that tells the story of Nigerian musician, Ayinla Omowura, who used Apala music to address issues of contemporary society commending and criticizing various governmental and individual acts.

Read also: Despite pandemic, cinemas earn N2.4bn in ticket sales

The movie directed by Tunde Kelani is widely praised for its great performance by Lateef Adedimeji who played the role of Ayina. Although the movie, according to a critic, lacks biographical fidelity, it makes up for that with costumes, location, and props. According to a critic page “Ayinla is undoubtedly an impressive film. What it lacks in plot, it makes up for with great acting. Indeed, in spite of its flaws, it places Nollywood on the right path and sets a precedent for future biopics,” the posted.

Aki and PawPaw – N92 million

After 19 years of the Aki and PawPaw franchise showed on DVD and CD players, movie fans were excited about the remake of the movie that was set to premiere during the Christmas holidays. The date was a smart choice as we have seen in the past movies that have made the most box office success we’re released during this time of the year. Bringing back the lead cast such as Chinedu Ikedieze, Osita Iheme, and Amaechi Muonagor, the movie featured other new casts such as Toyin Abraham, Beverly Osu, Uti Nwachukwu amongst others. The movie however failed to impress critics as according to a broad section of them lacked continuity and failed to appeal to the ever-growing taste of movie fans which has evolved over the years.

My village people – N100 million

Directed by Niyi Akinmolayan, the movie was released in cinemas on June 11, 2021, with Bovi Ugboma as the writer and lead cast. The movie starred other Nollywood actors such as Amaechi Muonagor, Charles Inojie, the late Rachael Oniga, Binta Ayo Mogaji, among others. The plot follows Prince, a young man whose weaknesses for women eventually land him in trouble as he is caught in a bizarre love triangle with witches. The movie is a carefully crafted hilarious fantasy movie that many critics agree that the movie is commendable with impressive cinematography and a future classic.

Prophetess – N131 million

Prophetess is a Nigerian sports comedy film directed by Niyi Akinmolayan that was released in 2021. Toyin Abraham, Uzor Arukwe, Stan Nze, and Tina Mba play the key characters in the film. The story revolves around a local prophetess who makes bold, fictitious predictions about the outcome of a local club football match that she has no control over. Though criticized for its lack of direction, the movie is filled with some comic hysteria packed with some realism of a football game, Ajoke as a prophetess and a babysitter. Other star act includes Kunle Remi, Kehinde Bankole, Lateef Adedimeji, Deyemi Okanlawon among others.

The Ghost and the tout too – N134.46 million

The ghost and the tout too is a sequel to its 2018 movie ‘The Ghost and the tout’ which tells the story of a young lady who grew up in a Ghetto and meets with a ghost after an unfortunate incident takes place. Soon after, her life is thrown into a series of dramas that only she can see and understand. The movie directed by Mike Akinrogunde was released in cinemas on September 10, 2021. The movie rated 8.6 out of 10 stars Toyin Abraham as the lead actor and other casts such Alexander Abolore, Lateef Adedimeji, Odunlade Adekola, Kola Ajeyemi, Adegbola Akande, Anita Asuoha, Ini Edo among others. This is very much a Toyin Abraham movie as she goes big on-screen to the delight of movie watchers but is criticized for its lack of substance by many movie analysts and deemed unnecessary as it fails to follow up on its previous theme.

Christmas in Miami – N134.54 million

Christmas in Miami is the fourth instalment of the AKPOS film series created by renowned Nigerian comedian Ayo Makun, popularly known as ‘Ay’. This time Akpos jets off with his family to the exotic city of Miami, Florida to represent Nigeria at the Intercontinental Christmas Fiesta, which is a unifying Fiesta that will bring together 6 families from 6 very diverse nations across 5 continents, to spend the week leading up to Christmas together, on an exotic island in Miami, USA. The Ay Christmas-themed movie upon its release broke the Nollywood box office record of making N100 million in the first 5 days of release. Starring in lead roles Ayo Makun, Richard Mofe Damijo, and Osita Iheme, the movie was released in cinemas on Christmas eve and it’s still viewing on cinema at the time of writing this article. According to critics, the plot provides a new and intriguing perspective on the holiday season, yet it lacks discernment in how it breaks down its concepts.