The growth of the Nigerian movie industry over the last ten years has been immense and nearly immeasurable.
Nollywood and the Nigerian entertainment industry were recently valued as the country’s third biggest and most lucrative venture, with a value of N3.8 trillion.
Legit.ng has compiled a list of the highest-earning movies of 2023.
If you would say, 2022 was huge in terms of earnings made by some of the movies released like Anikulapo, Battle On Buka Street, Ijakumo, Brotherhood and many more. But as it stands, movies released in 2023 have trumped the card, and they are all on the way to setting new records that have never been achieved before in Nollywood’s history.
Legit.ng, in this article, has compiled a list of the top seven highest-grossing Nigerian movies of 2023.
1. Jagun Jagun by Femi Adebayo – King of Nollywood’s box-office In 2023, Femi Adebayo reasserted himself as one of Nigeria’s best filmmakers to walk the face of the earth.
His movie Jagun Jagun held sway for weeks and months after it was released on Netflix in August. It began trending within 48 hours of release in the United Kingdom and 17 other countries.
It earned 2,100,000 views in its first three days and 3,700,000 views by August 20 2023, making it one of the top 10 most-watched non-English films globally. Femi Adebayo’s Jagun Jagun earned over $1.4m within the first 30 days of its release. This puts it at the top of the highest-grossing movie of 2023. It is regarded to date as one of the best combat, drama and epic movies ever to hit the Nigerian cinema. This isn’t the first time Femi will achieve this immense achievement. In 2022, he equally did outrageous numbers with Ageshinkole.
< 2. A Tribe Called Judah by Funke Akindele – Queen Of Nollywood’s cinema Ace Nigerian actress and filmmaker Funke Akindele has proven again in 2023 that she’s the queen of Nollywood cinemas and isn’t ready to relinquish that title anytime soon. Funke’s latest movie dropped 17 days ago, titled A Tribe Called Judah. According to Nairametrics, it grossed a whopping N400m within 12 days of its release. It is head-scratching and mind-boggling how much the movie would have grossed by the first week of January 2024. Funke’s A Tribe Called Judah seats pretty at number two on the highest-grossing movie of 2023.
3. Orisa by Odunlade Adekola – A first timer Famous Nollywood award-winning actor Odunlade Adekola made his debut at the Nigerian box office as a filmmaker, and he did so with flying colours. Odunlade has acted in many A-list cinematic movies but never released one. In 2023, he came through in style. His movie Orisa was released in July 2023, and at the last check, it hit a whopping N280m at the cinemas. It is the third highest-grossing movie of 2023.
4. Gangs of Lagos by Jadesola Osiberu and Kemi Lala Akindoju – Tableshakers The movie Gangs of Lagos is one of the biggest movies released in 2023, and it had an epic effect on the industry when it dropped. This isn’t Jadesola Osiberu’s first rodeo, but it was for Kemi Lala Akindoju. According to Hollywood Reporters, the Gangs of Lagos was able to amass an impressive 15,000 views within the first 20 days of its release. It generated a mouth-watering N230m in that period and later in the year.
5. Merrymen 3 by AY Comedian and Ramsey Nouah – Consistent box-office merchants Ace Nigerian comic AY Comedian and Ramsey Nouah have once again shown that they are one of the big-timers. After a successful run with Merrymen 1 amassing over a gross of 235m and MM2 hitting similar figures. Merrymen 3 came through with a big bang, doing an impressive N100m within the first four weeks it was released. According to the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), as of December 3, 2023, the crime comedy had pulled N117m, putting it at number five on the list.
6. Mami Wata by Oge Obasi – 7 years? It was worth the wait According to Nigerian movie producer Oge Obasi, it took him roughly seven years to make the movie “Mami Wata.” At the AMAA awards, Mami Wata dominated, picking up five different gongs. It has also been nominated for the Best African Movie of 2023 at the Sundance Awards and is the first Nigerian movie to get an Oscar nomination. Mami Wata was off with an underwhelming performance in its opening weekend at the cinemas, pulling a paltry N2.4m. However, it has hit lofty heights, currently peaking at N108m.
Honourable mentions 2023 was a year of the indigenous Nigerian movies. Some names are missing from this list because they were yet to hit the N100m benchmark at the time of publication. Movies like Kesari, Malaika, Ada Omo Daddy, and Blood Vessel are relatively new and are still getting a foothold.