BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
Or is it a case of too much money?
Remember 93 Days? That brilliant production which was beaten silly in the cinemas by A Trip to Jamaica, It’s Her Day, Okafor’s Law and Wives on Strike, films which weren’t fit to lace its boots?
A lot of people will say it tanked commercially because it wasn’t a comedy.
It tanked majorly because the biggest publicity that film got was the bad publicity when members of the Adadevoh family threatened fire and brimstone stating that the makers of the film did not have their blessing to go ahead with it. Now, don’t get me wrong, bad publicity could be massively beneficial to a work of art at times, but this particular one wasn’t even that big beyond the circle of players in the industry.
And then, it was premiered in a church. Another buzz kill for many. Imagine that film making only around N50m. For perspective, Okafor’s Law made almost double and The Wedding Party made over ten times that amount.
Now, to the point of this article. Good films can tank commercially. It happens everywhere. But, if a great film tanks, the filmmakers can at least throw their arms up, shrug and say it’s part of the unpredictability of the business. However, that shrug can come only in the knowledge that they have done all in their power to ensure it is a commercial success.
If there’s any film our lawmakers should pass a bill mandating all Nigerians (especially those who don’t rate Nollywood) to see, it should be Amina. Just kidding. Our lawmakers are useless. Except when they are buying new cars and threatening people who are actually doing their job.
The trailer for Amina looks beautiful. Yeah, I know trailers don’t usually tell the story, especially here in Nigeria. But only an irredeemable pessimist will think that film won’t be amazing when it comes out.
Amina was going to be given an underwhelming premiere at the forthcoming AFRIFF (no disrespect to that amazing festival, I haven’t missed it in three years) but reports are that the film will not make its debut until next year. Well, that’s good. There’s still time to make noise. A lot of it. The only noise being made right now is by filmmakers and core Nollywood enthusiasts. The day we put up the trailer of The Wedding Party on TNS, our site shook to its foundations. Of course, Mo Abudu knows how to make her works travel in the media but the fact that there isn’t any buzz around Amina is almost making me cry.
Izu Ojukwu has wrought something brilliant. It deserves to be seen far and wide. It is even the story of a Nigerian heroine. Epic stuff. Tonye Princewill and co should not just fold their arms and watch this film tank.
It will be a crime against art if that film with which Omoni Oboli disrespected Nollywood rakes in more money than this at the cinemas.