Funke Akindele’s new film, ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ has made history becoming the Nollywood movie with the biggest weekend opening ever raking over N122 million at the box office so far.The movie has garnered over N122 million at the box office to date. Surpassing expectations, Sunday’s earnings alone exceeded N60 million, prompting inquiries into how Funke Akindele manages to generate significant revenue during economic challenges.
The typical budget allocated for movie promotion in Nollywood exceeds N10 million. Filmmakers aiming for substantial box office earnings recognize the necessity of investing in marketing for significant returns. Funke Akindele’s consistent success, record-breaking performances, and unique achievements raise questions about the distinctive factors contributing to her unparalleled accomplishments in comparison to others in the industry.
Driving through the roads of Eko Bridge, down through Costain into the mainland, there are posters of the newly released film on every light post. Reports indicate that advertising on a lamp pole in Lagos generally ranges from N70,000 to N80,000, depending on the location. With over 200 lamp poles on Eko Bridge alone, the total budget allocated by Akindele’s team for lamp post advertising can be calculated by multiplying the number of poles by the cost per pole which would cost over N20 million.
In 2020 her film Omo Ghetto: The Saga raked a whooping N636.1 million setting a new record for the highest grossing movie during that period. Not long after in 2022, the release of her next film ‘Battle on Buka Street’ a comedy drama film saw her break her own record as the movie earned N668.4 making her one of two filmmakers to reach and surpass the N1 billion gross at the box office and the only one to do it with just two movies.
The recent release of the The Tribe called Judah looks to follow in the same path as its already become the biggest weekend opening ever for a Nollywood film. How does she keep pulling this? One may ask
Effective marketing is the key to a movie’s success at the cinema, captivating audiences with compelling trailers, strategic social media campaigns, and promotional materials. Well thought promotion not only generates widespread anticipation but also establishes a strong connection between the audience and the film, ensuring a packed cinema hall and a huge cinematic debut.
Over the years, Funke Akindele is known to be very vocal and practical when promoting their films. This strategy has led to her films like Omo Ghetto: The Saga and Battle On Buka Street attaining ‘Highest Grossing Nollywood movie’ status.
Inter Ethnic Collaborations
The inclusion of actors from every part of Nigeria have shown to boost Akindele’s movie credibility and create an appetite among audiences. Business owners understand the idea of partnering with competitors that complements their brand which gives access t0 resources they cant have and makes the brand visible to more audiences.
The strategy of the inclusion of actors from different parts of the country in her films is a testament to that. In movies such as Omo Ghetto the Saga, the movie saw the cast of Eniola Badmus, Chioma Akpocha, Akah Nnani, and Ibrahim Yekini among others. Several languages like English, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Nigerian Pidgin were all used in the film making all major tribes involved in the plot.
A Tribe Called Judah also follows in the same path as it host actors such as Timini Egbuson, Nse Ikpe Etim, Uzee Usman, Boma Akpofure, and Olumide Oworu all of which have huge following from their states of origin and a huge social media following.
Huge Social Media following
Funke Akindele is considered as a mega brand in the Nigerian movie business. The award winning actor has a social media following of over 16 million followers on Instagram alone, the third most followed woman in Nigeria just behind Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage. The number of followers contains a variety of age demographics both old and young which sees…
The use of celebrity engagement to bolster the audience’s appetite in anticipation for how the movie will turn out is another way Funke Akindele wins the marketing game for her upcoming films. Social media is by far one of the most influential ways of marketing any product and Akindele goes the extra mile by pulling celebrities who wear mech outfits of the upcoming film to create a buzz around the movie.
By doing so Akindele doesn’t have to depend on her fan base alone but can hope that these celebrities with instagram followership spanning hundreds of millions in number gets her more audiences to view her movies.
The South West cinema strength
Out of 81 cinemas, the South West had around 57 percent of all cinemas in Nigeria according to Statista. Akindele movies more often than not are more relatable to people from the South West and the appeal of her film leads to big box office returns from that geographic area. Simply put, you have to make it big in the South West cinemas before your movie is considered successful.
Funke Akindele brand reputation and serial cinema success has seen her movies win the slot of having her films released at the tail end of the year during the Christmas and New Year celebrations when families visit the cinemas the most. Report shows that cinemas in Nigeria make more money during the festive period than any other time of the year.
Funke Akindele’s approach to marketing is worthy of admiration and imitation for the film industry to witness more movies surpassing the N500 million mark and eventually reaching over N1 billion. Her effective marketing, timing, and celebrity engagement strategies have made her one of the most successful Nollywood Filmmakers and elevated her to the status of an industry icon.