AY Makun’s highly anticipated Merry Men 3 faced a disappointing setback as it experienced a staggering 54 percent drop in ticket sales during its opening weekend, yielding a meager N17.1 million in total earnings. This performance comes as a stark contrast to the success of its predecessors, Merry Men 2, which raked in a substantially higher N37.2 million, indicating a significant downward spiral in the franchise’s commercial appeal.
According to the Nigerian box office report on X, showing Merry Men 1’s impressive earnings of N48,699,026 and Merry Men 2’s N37,244,420, the lackluster performance of Merry Men 3 sends signals within the industry. Despite high expectations and a devoted fan base, the latest installment failed to mirror the triumphs of its forerunners, leaving stakeholders perplexed about the potential reasons behind this unexpected decline.
Industry insiders speculate that several factors, including evolving audience preferences and the downward spiral of the economy might have contributed to the underwhelming response to Merry Men 3.
X user Ken Uttih tweeted, “The Maslow Hierarchy of Needs always holds true. Many Nigerians don’t have disposable income right now so you won’t expect many of them to go to cinemas to spend about N10k to watch a movie while Netflix is N2400. Nollywood producers should study the times and act accordingly.”
The film however topped the weekend movie box office chart with second place Expendables at N9 million, Something Like Gold coming in at N8.2 million, TheCreator with about N7.7 million and A Weekend To Forget with N3.9 million.
Ay Makun has had an impressive track record in the film industry sticking with the comedy genre. The first installment of the Merry Men franchise raked in a total of N235.6 million with the second installment grossing N234.5 million at the box office. His other films like Christmas in Miami, 10 days in Sun City, A Trip to Jamaica, and 30 days in Atlanta have seen him rake a combined N1.2 billion at the box office.
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With AY Makun’s notable track record in the Nigerian film industry, the unexpected stumble of Merry Men 3 serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the volatility of the contemporary cinematic landscape and the need for continuous innovation and adaptation within the industry.