Top 20 Highest Grossing Nigerian Films – As The Wedding Party drives Nollywood to New Heights

24 March 2017


The Nigerian Film industry popularly known as ‘Nollywood’ has taken another step towards becoming one of the world’s most important film industry’s, with ‘The Wedding Party’ a Romantic Comedy starring Adesua Etomi & Banky W, taking $1.5m (N454m) at the Nigerian box office. This makes the Wedding Party the highest grossing film in Nigeria to date, ahead of its closest Hollywood rival ‘Fast and Furious 7’ at $1.2m. No doubt Nollywood has come a long way in just 20 odd years, from its humble beginnings as a small cottage industry in the 1990’s producing films with fuzzy pictures and epileptic sound to the $3.1bn powerhouse it is today.

But what makes ‘The Wedding Party’s feat so remarkable is the fact that during 2016 the Naira collapsed against the US Dollar by 85% and Nigeria fell into a deep recession with its GDP tumbling from a high of $569 billion in 2015 to $481 billion in 2016. In fact, if the Wedding Party had been released in 2015 the same year as Fast and Furious 7, it’s Box office take would be around $2.7m today. Furthermore the whole of Nigeria has just 135 screens, serving a population of nearly 190m people, which is the largest population in Africa and the 7th largest in the world, compare those screen ratios with South Africa which has 800 screens serving a population of 55m and the UK which has 3,947 screens serving a population of 65m, all this tells us that, Nigeria’s film industry has enormous potential for domestic growth.

Now, it is a well known fact that Nigerian films are watched earnestly all over the world, fuelled by an estimated 15m plus Nigerians scattered across the globe, so one doesn’t have to be a genius to work out Nollywood’s prospects for sustained and explosive International growth to add to its huge domestic potential.  

Top 20 Highest Grossing Nigerian Films.

Rank   Title                                     Year    Box office ($) Director

1          The Wedding Party              2016   $1.5m             Kemi Adetiba

2          30 Days in Atlanta              2014   $873,885       Robert Peters

3          A Trip To Jamaica                2016   $569,610       Robert Peters

4          Fifty                                   2015   553,121         Biyi Bandele

5          Ijé- The Journey                  2010   398,667         Chineze Anyaene

6          Half of a Yellow Sun             2013   $382,165       Biyi Bandele

7          October 1                            2014   $292,993       Kunle Afolayan

8          Tango with Me                     2010   $258,064       Mahmood Ali-Balogun

9          76                                      2016   229,117         Izu Ojukwu

10       The Return of Jenifa              2012   221,519         Muhydeen S. Ayinde

11       Wives on Strike                     2016   214,161         Omoni Oboli

12       The CEO                               2016   203,660         Kunle Afolayan

13       The Figurine                          2009   $200,000       Kunle Afolayan

14       Road to Yesterday                 2015   $176,470       Ishaya Bako

15       Last Flight to Abuja               2012   $152,866       Obi Emelonye

16       Flower Girl                           2013   $146,000       Michelle Bello

17       Weekend Getaway                2012   144,906         Desmond Elliot

18       Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo       2015   133,118         Daniel Oriahi

19       Phone Swap                          2012   131,098         Kunle Afolayan

20       Anchor Baby                         2010   120,000         Lonzo Nzekwe


Box office figures were calculated based on Central Bank of Nigeria exchange rates the year the film was released. Information used in calculating the Box offices figures was obtained from Distributors and exhibitors.

Source: Press Release