The Wedding Party, Nigeria’s latest blockbuster movie, has broken box office records at every milestone since it was released nationwide to critical acclaim on December 16.
A press release from EbonyLife Films at the weekend said that the Nollywood movie took just two weeks to eclipse the impressive record of N176 million, held by AY’s ‘A Trip to Jamaica’, emerging with a staggering N200 million before the New Year weekend was over.
“This marks an amazing run, as the romantic comedy recorded the biggest opening weekend in Nollywood history with N36 million, the best-ever opening week with N66 million, and a jaw-dropping Christmas box office total of N146 million.
“What followed appears to be unprecedented, with cinemas in many parts of the country reporting sold-out screens throughout the rest of the holiday season, as excited fans who saw earlier screenings returned for a second round, often with friends and family in tow,” said the statement.
The feat recorded by The Wedding Party, according to the statement, “was an amazing response to a Nigerian film suggesting that the producers, the ELFIKE Film Collective, were right to assemble such a stellar cast and to trust director, Kemi Adetiba, to guide them to superb performances”.
Relative newcomers like Banky W and Adesua Etomi, looked comfortable alongside veteran actors Richard Mofe-Damijo and Ireti Doyle, while the comedic genius of Sola Sobowale, Ali Baba and AY shone through, it added.
ELFIKE relied on the collective experience of the partners, EbonyLife Films, Film One, Koga Studios and Inkblot Productions, to ensure high production values throughout.
Much of the appeal of the film is due to a heart warming storyline, beautiful sets and gorgeous costumes, with most of the audience being able to identify with the lavish Nigerian wedding, contentious relatives and almost-chaotic proceedings that defy even the most careful planning.
The family-friendly theme has attracted larger-than-average groups of all ages and economic backgrounds.
According to Executive Producer, Mo Abudu, “We really believe that the Nigerian consumer will support any ‘made in Nigeria’ product, if the quality is comparable to international standards.
“We wanted to make a film that would make our people proud and the response of movie-goers suggests that we have succeeded.
“Equally important has been the support of so many sponsors, including Dubai Tourism, Airtel, Diageo and Bank of Industry, who were instrumental in getting us off to an amazing start.”
Moses Babatope, COO of FilmOne Distribution, was delighted by the public response. “With returns clocking up N200 million, The Wedding Party is on track to deliver numbers we have never seen before for a Nigerian film.
“It’s important to note that it is selling more tickets than Rogue One, part of the Star Wars franchise and the biggest film worldwide this season. And there’s more to come – we are looking forward to The Wedding Party being available worldwide on Netflix, as well as international airlines, television and DVD,” he said.
The Wedding Party is only the second film produced by EbonyLife Films. Its predecessor, Fifty, was the most successful film at the Nigerian box office in 2015 and has spawned a television series, due to air on EbonyLife TV in 2017.
Fifty was the only Nigerian film, and one of only five African films from a global selection of 238 films, to be screened at the 59th BFI London Film Festival.
There are two new films in the works, including a sequel to The Wedding Party that will ensure more outstanding commercial success for EbonyLife in 2017/18.