Nigeria’s Nollywood is remaking classic movies to maximize box office revenue in the Netflix era

Nigerian moviegoers could soon be feeling like they’re going back in time.

Over the next 12 months, as many as five 1990s classic films in Nigeria’s Nollywood movie industry are getting either a sequel or being remade. It’s a growing trend as the local box office continues to mature given the shift from quantity to quality that has shown Nigerian movies can compete for eyeballs at local cinemas—a space long dominated mainly by American releases.

What might have represented a risk for producers—adapting nearly thirty-year old films for a younger, millennial audience that dominates box office attendances—was validated by last year’s success of Living In Bondage: Breaking Free, a sequel to its 1992 original. Despite a story that had strong ties to its prequel, the movie proved a hit, becoming the top-grossing Nollywood film of 2019. And, in the wake of the film’s success, a revival of even more Nollywood classics is on the cards over the next 18 months.


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