Cinemas are among the hardest hit by Nigeria’s high rate of inflation as movie ticket prices have risen. As new movies come out, experts fear that rising ticket prices will drive many people away from the cinema.
According to Oluchi Wemere, one of Genesis Cinema’s branch managers said, “Ticket prices are higher than before, we still have patronage from customers. The truth is that going to the cinema is like going to have fun and be entertained. Nigerians will always go out for fun.
She added, “Economic inflation doesn’t have much effect on cinema. People understand that the prices of things are higher than before but they have no choice but to pay”.
In other words, if the trend in ticket prices continues to rise, this essential form of public participation and community engagement will lose its social function.
The increase in ticket prices will effectively prevent many from going to see movies at the cinema and leave people without the choice of streaming movies with their phones.
Oluchi revealed that the average price of a movie ticket at Genesis Cinema before inflation hit was normally sold at N2,000 but the current price so far is N3,000 excluding popcorn and drink .
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s inflation rate has risen to 17.71%.
Kabri Danjuma, one of the Festival Mall movie buffs, said, “Despite the price increase, I usually come here on weekends to watch movies. I prefer to watch new movies and relax here on weekends.
Faced with the increase in cinema ticket prices, going to the cinema remains the most popular form of cultural participation and social engagement of the public.
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According to an expert who would like to remain anonymous, “most moviegoers are not necessarily put off by the price of tickets and food at the cinema. Considering that ticket prices in Nigeria are not the same, so in most cities, it could be a problem if the price changes differently from what they are used to. The attendance sometimes decreases or increases depending on the release of the film.
“The numbers seem to have dropped over the past week as there have been no blockbuster releases since the release of ‘Dr Strange’, most people are now eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Thor: The love and thunder” in about a week.”
Also, he said, inflation has affected the increase in ticket prices and other things. It’s not necessarily a huge factor that affects sales and attendance. Most theaters across the country have had to revise their prices lately and others are to stay the same based on fees before inflation.
“Diesel is a factor, but we are not oblivious to the current situation in the country. There’s a lot to be involved in the operations of the theater like rent, electricity among others, so those things are carefully considered before any changes are made,” Godwin said.
Patrick Lee, National Chairman of CEAN revealed, “We achieved total sales of Naira 653,229,100.00 for the month of May 2022. during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos compared to last year.
21 Nollywood movies aired in May accounted for 28% of total ticket sales, while 14 Hollywood movies accounted for around 69%, with “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” being the top author.
Cinema has made the Nigerian film industry the second largest film sector in the world, surpassing even the United States and the third most profitable and accounting for 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.