• Sunday, February 25, 2024
businessday logo


How Funke Akindele won box office amid economic hardship

Sustainable Business: Henkel’s WAW Detergent renews endorsement deal with Nigerian actress

Funke Akindele’s new film, ‘A Tribe Called Judah’, has emerged as the Nollywood movie with the biggest weekend opening ever, raking over N122 million at the box office so far amid economic challenges.

‘A Tribe Called Judah’ makes opening weekend history

Surpassing expectations, Sunday’s earnings alone exceeded N60 million.

The typical budget allocated for movie promotion in Nollywood exceeds N10 million. Filmmakers aiming for substantial box office earnings recognise the necessity of investing in marketing for significant returns. Akindele’s consistent success and record-breaking performances have raised questions about the distinctive factors contributing to her accomplishments 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. There are over 200 lamp poles on Eko Bridge.
Biggest cinema weekends. A tribe called Judah

In 2020, her film ‘Omo Ghetto: The Saga’ raked in N636.1 million, setting a new record for the highest-grossing movie during that period. 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 million, 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 Tribe Called Judah’ looks to follow in the same path as its already become the biggest weekend opening ever for a Nollywood film.

Effective marketing

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-out 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, Akindele is known to be very vocal and practical when promoting her films.

Inter-ethnic collaborations

Akindele usually includes actors from every part of Nigeria in her movies.

For instance, in the movie ‘Omo Ghetto: the Saga’, several languages like English, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and Nigerian Pidgin were used.

Read also: Agege cinema culture, lifestyle rekindle with Heritage multiple screens, offerings

‘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

Akindele is considered 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.

Celebrity engagement

The use of celebrity engagement to bolster the audience’s appetite in anticipation for how the movie will turn out is another way Akindele wins the marketing game for her upcoming films.

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 is home to about 57 percent of all cinemas in Nigeria, according to Statista. Akindele movies appear to be more relatable to people from the South West and the appeal of her film leads to big box office returns from that geographic area.


The release of the movie close to the festive season is also a factor. Report shows that cinemas in Nigeria make more money during the festive period than any other time of the year.