Filmone made an interesting announcement on its Instagram page two days ago. Film lovers who enjoyed watching King of Boys, The Wedding Party 2, and Merry Men in cinemas can now look forward to seeing all three movies on Netflix very soon. The news is hardly surprising. Since early 2015, Netflix has been adding to its roster of Nigerian movies. One of Netflix’s most notable additions was in September 2018, when it acquired Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart – a Nollywood comedy which Genevieve Nnaji directed and starred in. This move made Genevieve’s Lionheart the first Netflix original film from Nigeria.
Before it began acquiring Nollywood films, Netflix had already made some moves and announcements that indicated its interest in Africa and Nigeria in particular. The global streaming platform developed and released a video compression technology in 2016 that would allow it deliver quality streaming services even in regions with slow internet connections. Netflix then deployed a dedicated server in Nigeria, in partnership with Spectranet, to help its content deliver at faster and cheaper rates. In addition, Netflix began searching for a director of content acquisition for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa in May 2018.
The possibilities are huge for on demand video streaming in Africa, especially in Nigeria. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and the most populous country on the continent. According to data that was released by Jumia during the 2019 Jumia Mobile Week, 172 million people in Nigeria are subscribed to a mobile service provider, and 112 million people are internet users. This market is clearly what platforms like Showmax, DSTV and Netflix are targeting.
It’s important to note the difference between a Netflix original film, and a film that Netflix has acquired a license to stream. When Netflix acquires the exclusive rights to stream a production worldwide, or when it creates a production in-house, the production is called a Netflix original. A license to stream, on the other hand, is simply a right to distribute. Lionheart is a Netflix original film because Netflix acquired exclusive rights to the film after it was produced. In 2015, Netflix bought worldwide distribution rights to Kunle Afolayan’s political thriller, October 1.
About the Three Nollywood Films Coming To Netflix
The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai is the highest grossing film in the history of Nollywood. The romantic comedy established its record with 312 million dollars in its first 6 months at the Nigerian Box Office when it debuted in 2017. The film was a sequel to The Wedding Party which was released in 2016. The Wedding Party 2 was directed by Niyi Akinmolayan. It features an impressive cast with actors like Ireti Doyle, Zainab Balogun, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Beverly Naya and a number of others.
King of Boys is a 2018 drama produced and directed by Kemi Adetiba. The film chronicles the power struggles of Alhaja Eniola Salami, a ruthless businesswoman with political ambitions. King of Boys was Kemi Adetiba’s second project, her first film was The Wedding Party. A few of the actors in King of Boys are Sola Sobowale, Reminisce, Adesua Etomi, Sharon Ooja, Adeolu Adefarasin, and Osas Ighodaro.
Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons was released in 2018. The film features Falz the Bad Guy, Ramsey Noah, Jim Iyke, Jide Kosoko and Jim Iyke among others. The film is a comedy drama about the lives of four attractive and business savvy men who prey on the naivety of unsuspecting women.
FilmOne is an independent distributor and producer of films. The company is based in Lagos, Nigeria and has distributed some of the most successful films in Nigeria through Filmhouse Cinemas. A few of the films co-produced by FilmOne are The Wedding Party, The Wedding Party 2, My Wife & I, New Money and Moms At War.
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Featured image source: The Guardian NG