Nollywood blockbuster movie, The Wedding Party 2 – Destination Dubai (WP2) cost N300 million to produce, excluding marketing and publicity, its producer has revealed.
Released on December 15, 2017, WP2 has raked in over N500 million within the six weeks of its release in cinemas, making it the highest-grossing Nollywood film ever, in such a short time of release.
Kene Mkparu, the managing director of FilmOne Distribution Company, one of the executive producers of the movie, disclosed this Wednesday in an interview in Yankari, Bauchi State.
The filmmaker was one of the resource persons at the on-going Consumer Forum of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) at the Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State.
â€œWedding Party 1, cost us over N150 million to make, plus publicity, and the Party 2 cost us N300 million. We believe you have to spend money to make money, and if you can show from your business plan how you would recoup this money, the banks will be willing to give you funds,â€ he said.
Mkparu further explained that partnerships with relevant stakeholders, especially in tourism, in Dubai, added colour to the glitz and glamour of WP2.
He advised relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian tourism and the filmmaking sectors to initiate such partnerships to foster growth in the entertainment industry.
â€œWe paid for some locations and then entered into a partnership with Dubai Tourism, which made available a lot of tourism facilities and hotels in Dubai for us.
â€œWe could shoot anywhere we wanted, as long as the script said so, and we lived in the top hotels in Dubai.
â€œFilmmaking is not just for entertainment, it promotes and develops tourism as well,â€ he was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as stating.
According to Mkparu, the Wedding Party project has positively changed the narrative of the Nigerian movie industry within and outside the country.
â€œThe Wedding Party 2 has generated over N500 million as of today, and is now in cinemas across different countries, including England, and Holland and some French-speaking African countries.
â€œThe idea of the film is to show that it is possible in Nigeria today to create a movie that can entertain, sell and make money.
â€œWe wanted to prove that it is possible to make money from all the value chains in the industry, even in the midst of piracy threats.
â€œThe producers looked at what the audience enjoys in cinemas, and we created a script on a topical issue that people could identify with and have fun identifying with those things,â€ he noted.
Mkparu explained that although the movie had raked in huge returns for its investors, movie making is capital intensive.
He advised filmmakers to develop good scripts as business plans to attract financiers, as adequate funding was critical to making sellable movies.
The Wedding Party is a signature title by ELFIKE Film Collective, a partnership between Ebony Life Films, FilmOne Distribution, Inkblot Productions and Koga Studios.
The WP1 premiered in cinemas across Nigeria in December 2016 and reportedly grossed N203 million in just two weeks, topping the 2016 Nigerian Box Office.
Its sequel, the WP2 – Dubai Destination was released in cinemas exactly one year after and grossed N73 million within the first three days of its opening.