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How Hollywood studios performed in anglophone West African cinemas

How Hollywood studios performed in anglophone West African cinemas

The race for dominance in the anglophone West African film industry heated up in 2023, with major Hollywood studios vying for a slice of the growing market. According to Filmone’s 2023 yearbook report, Warner Bros. secured the top spot, capturing a significant 15.2 percent market share with N1.1 billion.

Warner Bros.’ success can be attributed to blockbusters like ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’, and ‘Barbie’ which resonated with regional audiences. These films, alongside ‘Creed III’ likely propelled Warner Bros. to the top spot.

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Following closely behind was Walt Disney, a perennial favorite in the global film industry. The studio garnered 13.6 percent market share (N999 million), with movies like ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, ‘Quantumania’ and ‘The Marvels’ undoubtedly contributing to their strong performance. Disney’s established brand recognition and diverse slate of films continue to be a major draw for audiences of all age demographics across the region.

Universal Pictures placed third with a market share of 8.1 percent (N596.9 million). Big-budget action flicks like ‘John Wick Chapter 4’, ‘Fast X’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ probably played a role in securing their position. Sony Pictures rounded out the top four with a 5.7 percent market share, likely bolstered by the success of Denzel Washington’s ‘The Equalizer 3’.

Paramount Pictures secured a commendable 7.3 percent market share, demonstrating the continued appeal of franchises like ‘Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1’, and ‘Transformers, Rise of the Beast’.

The Indie Spirit Endures:

The report also highlighted the enduring presence of independent studios in the anglophone West African market. The category, lumped together under ‘Others Independents’, captured a combined 6 percent market share. This signifies a healthy appetite for diverse content beyond the typical Hollywood fare.

Looking Ahead: A thriving market with untapped potential

The figures point towards a thriving film industry in Anglophone West Africa, with a growing audience hungry for high-quality entertainment. This trend is likely to continue if there is an increase in audiences having disposable income and a growing appetite for diverse storytelling.

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For Hollywood studios, the region presents a lucrative opportunity for expansion. Studios in the future are likely to adopt a multi-pronged approach to further entrench themselves in the market. This could include strategic partnerships with local distributors just like the streamers do, the production of films with regional themes or featuring local actors, and investment in local cinema infrastructure.

As competition intensifies, it will be interesting to see how Hollywood studios adapt their strategies to cater to the evolving preferences of anglophone West African audiences.