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10 Nollywood Box Office Champions of 2023

Over the past few years, Nollywood has transformed from a production company focused on quantity to one that produces internationally acclaimed films of high quality. By 2023, the transformation had reached a critical stage.

When “The Black Book” by Effiong Editi was launched on Netflix in September, it instantly became viral. On the streaming platform, the film rose to the top of the rankings. Along with the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Kenya, Martinique, Panama, Poland, Romania, and Venezuela, “The Black Book” also gained popular in these nations.

“Gangs of Lagos” tells the story of a group of friends who grew up in the Isale Eko neighborhood of Lagos and lived a life centered around crime and violence. The way the popular movie portrayed the Eyo masquerade in the area sparked a protracted debate.

The Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee also discovered a movie deserving of representing the nation at the 2024 Academy Awards, in the wake of the 2022 scandal. “Mami Wata,” directed by CJ Obasi, was chosen as one of the contenders for the International Feature Film (IFF) category. The movie had previously been chosen for Sundance Film Festival’s 2023 lineup.

These brilliant works share the limelight alongside other Nollywood productions in 2023.

1. Mami Wata

Running time: 1hr 47mins

Starring: Emeka Amakeze, Evelyne Ily Juhen, Hidaya Ibrahim,

Synopsis: In the small village of Iyi, the powerful goddess of water narrates the tale of three women whose lives have been shaped by their people’s devotion to her.

 

2. The Black Book

Running time: 1hr 20mins

Starring: Richard Mofe-Damijo, Shaffy Bello, Olumide Owuru

Synopsis: After his son is framed and killed for kidnapping by the police, a deceptively harmless deacon returns to his dangerous past to ensure justice for the perpetrators.

 

3. A Tribe Called Judah

Running Time: 2hrs 14mins

Starring: Nse Ikpe Etim, Funke Akindele, Fathia Balogun

Synopsis: A family of boys decides to rob a small mall to raise money for their mother’s surgery. However, they encountered a gang of armed robbers on getting to the mall.

 

4. Jagun Jagun

Running time: 2hrs 14mins

Starring: Femi Adebayo, Lateef Adedimeji, Bimbo Ademoye

Synopsis: A young man determined to become a mighty warrior joins an elite army, encountering the wrath of a maniacal warlord and the love of a woman.

 

5. Gangs Of Lagos

Running time: 2hrs 4mins

Starring: Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Zlatan

Synopsis: The film tells the tale of a group of friends who have to navigate destiny, growing up on the bustling streets and neighbourhood of Isale Eko.

 

6. Orisa

Running time: 1hr 49mins

Starring: Odunlade Adekola, Femi Adebayo, Shaffy Bello

Synopsis: A king becomes rogue and loses respect for the gods and the people. Insanity becomes his fate. This predicament befalls him at a time when a terrorist, whom he once struck a deal with, returns to forcefully take over the kingdom.

 

7. Ijakumo

Running time: 2hrs

Starring: Toyin Abraham, Kunle Remi, Bimbo Akintola

Synopsis: Ijakumo follows the story of a wealthy and flamboyant pastor who discovers that his new favourite stripper is his church’s worship leader, he begins an affair with her that opens a Pandora’s Box of crisis beyond what he imagined.

 

8. The Trade

Running time: 1hr 50mins

Starring: Blossom Chukwujekwu, Rita Dominic, Gideon Okeke

Synopsis: ‘The Trade’ follows the story of a notorious kidnapper, who has ravaged a part of the country for over a decade and is only known by name, undertakes a job that leads to his final undoing.

 

9. Love, Lust, & Other Things

Running time: 1hr 57mins

Starring: Ramsey Noah, Kunle Remi, Osas Ighodalo

Synopsis: A recently divorced woman goes on a journey of self-discovery to find out what she wants between love, sex, and money. She leaves her marriage of five years to find herself. Everything.

 

10. Love In Pandemic

Running time: 2hrs

Starring: Nancy Isime, Deyemi Okanlawon, Teniola Aladese

Synopsis: It captures a love tale that happens amidst one of the most unforgettable moments in human history, the COVID-19 Pandemic when the whole world was shut down for months.

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