No. 4, January 4, 2016 All Rights Reserved
FIFTY IS THE BEST PROMOTED FILM OF 2015
Directed by Biyi Bandele (Half of a Yellow Sun) and Produced by Tope Oshin (Journey to Self), Fifty is definitely the best promoted Nigerian film of 2015 thanks to its laudable Executive Producer and Chief Investor Mosunmola Abudu.
Released just a couple of weeks ago, it is rumored that Fifty has already grossed close to 25 million Naira at the box office in Nigeria. Despite receiving 2 bad reviews from British Journalists at BFI London, Fifty has been able to parley that negativity into something positive in Nigeria. An added bonus is that audiences have not been disappointed with the film.
Why is Fifty doing so well you might ask? Mo Abudu is a woman that understands the Nigerian elite and if you want to reach that crowd you may want to understudy her. First, she leveraged on her ownership of a television station not just to promote the film vigorously, but also involve corporate Nigeria.
Second, before the main premiere, she had a special screening for a select few including the press. From that came many articles including Red Media’s Chude Jideonwo’s signature article in a major National Newspaper. Then came the mother of all premieres with all the bells and whistles. Mo sure knows how to throw a party.
After the premiere, Mo Abudu did not sit pretty and expect her brand to sell the movie. She went out and sold it and dragged all her celebrity friends along with her. In addition to a glamorous premiere, she is giving away a Mercedes Benz to one lucky audience member. At every turn, the EL team has released posters, flyers and promotion paraphernalia on social media to promote and celebrate every milestone including the premiere on America’s Netflix a few days ago. That is how to sell a film to the Nigerian elite!
OMONI OBOLI CHASED DOWN OMOTOLA IN 2015?
Two produced films in one year, acquired tons of filmmaking equipment, private jet trips, wining and dining with 8 Presidents, designer handbags, shoes and exotic holiday trips with husband and kids, produced most of President GEJ Nollywood related campaign videos, actress Omoni Oboli in 2015 balled herself into a brand. There maybe whispers here and there as to how she got there but it seems Nigerians these days don’t care how you got there as long as you get there. So where is there for Omoni Oboli?
In 2015, Omoni Oboli became the ‘go to married actress’, slim enough to hang with any Nollywood leading man and homely looking enough for brands to make their ambassador all the while sending Omotola Ekeinde on goodwill junkets across Africa. Thanks to Omoni, Omotola once again in 2015 has not one film credit to her name while she appeared in about a dozen films including The Duplex, Fifty, Lunch Time Heroes and As Crazy as it Gets.
Omoni may not be as talented as Omotola but what she lacks in talent, she makes up in pure unadulterated bordering on neurosis HUSTLE. Frankly, the real competitors Omoni has are Nse Ikpe Etim and Dakore Akande but she is way ahead on the popularity and hustle poll right now. However, 2016 is looking extremely good for Nse and Dakore.
GENEVIEVE NNAJI DID NOT SELL HER OWN FILM SO DON’T EXPECT HER TO SELL YOURS
Let nobody fool you, Genevieve Nnaji is the most popular actress in Africa especially amongst the Nigerian elite who often deny they don’t watch Nollywood. She has over 1 million Instagram followers, which by the way, is the best indicator of how popular these African celebs really are. Facebook is not a good indicator for obvious reasons.
As popular as Nnaji is, you would expect that if you hired her to act in your movie, she would sell you a lot of movie tickets right? Her latest film Road to Yesterday grossed in the neighborhood of 20 million Naira compared to AY Makun‘s 30 Days in Atlanta 150m so you would have to rethink that analysis.
So why did RTY not do better considering this was Nnaji’s first film in 4 years. Was the film not good enough? I doubt that, 30 Days In Atlanta was not a good film either or was it? The difference is in the promotion of the film by its main star.
All we saw from Nnaji by way of promoting Road To Yesterday is 3 Premieres in Lagos, Enugu, Abuja and 2 Cover shoots on Allure and This Day Style. That resulted in what distributor FilmOne declared was the best opening weekend in Nigeria BOX office. What happened after that? One would have expected the actress to go on a media blitz, cinema tours, autograph signing events like her counterparts Omoni Oboli (The First Lady) Rita Dominic (The Meeting) and Nse Ikpe Etim (Phone Swap) but she opted not to do so to the detriment of the film.
In contrast, while Genevieve was covering magazines and granting bland interviews that her target audience won’t read, aspiring media mogul and certified Lagos big babe Mo Abudu was in and out of cinemas with her 4 leading actresses Omoni, Nse, Ireti, Dakore and other celebrities selling Fifty the movie like ice cream on a hot day. The resultant effect is that Fifty with 4 actresses who all together have less social media following than Nnaji are packing cinema halls while Road to Yesterday is already on the road out of the cinemas in just a few weeks. What a waste of star power! What a way not to stage a comeback! It is clear that Nnaji is stuck in old Nollywood and it has put a little damp on her star power.