Piracy threatens revenue run of Nigerian blockbuster
Conservative estimates say producers may lose N100m in the process
By Vicky Bricks
Barely weeks after throwing a lavish party to celebrate the revenue run of its blockbuster flick, The Wedding Party, the promoters of Nigerian’s highest grossing movie in 2016, are presently fighting a local and global battle to stem the scourge of piracy, The Difference Entertainment has learnt.
Indeed, so massive is the scope of the assault by the pirates that expectations presently are that it could severely undermine the bottomline.
The Difference Entertainment checks confirmed at the weekend that pirated versions of the very well-received production are now sold at incredibly cheap rates in some parts of Nigeria. These include the more bustling urban centres of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Benin, and Warri.
The movie which has grossed record profits of over 400million since it was premiered in the cinemas in December, is also now, thanks to the creative use of social media by pirates, also now easily available for illicit streaming and downloads on YouTube and Facebook.
In a telephone conversation with Emeka Chibuzor (not real names), a music producer in Warri, Delta State, he disclosed that he had bought a copy of The Wedding Party for N200 in town, saying ” i suspected it to be a pirated copy, so I bought it, and played it when I got home and I was right, it was indeed pirated because it wasn’t as clear as the one I saw in the cinemas when I came to Lagos”. Some other source equally confirmed that he had spotted pirated copies sold for as low as N500 in Maryland, Lagos.
Despite the existence of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, piracy in Nigeria has indeed been so ubiquitous that it has sent out of business some stakeholders in the Nollywood industry.
The producers of the Wedding Party had originally intended to put the original CDs out for sale and also take the movie to NETFLIX but with this limitation, it is doubtful if they are not going to be forced to review their plans as had been the case with Wale Adenuga’s The Perfect Church.
Indeed, conservative estimates already put the potential loss to the Mo Abudu-led production company from the current setback at about N100 million.
The Wedding Party