Cinemas to Lose Billions in Box-office If Coronavirus Persists

Moses Babatope

Since coronavirus flew into the country, cinemas have been hit badly by the restriction on social gatherings. The implication of the directive is the delay or postponement of most Nollywood and Hollywood movies and financial loss for cinema houses.

The Group Executive Director, Filmhouse Cinemas / Managing Director, FilmOne Entertainment Moses Babatope disclosed that box-office figures declined by as much as N500 million during February and March. This was as a result of the fear of the virus which caused audiences to avoid social places as well as the postponement of major Hollywood releases such as James Bond’s ‘No Time to Die’ and Disney’s ‘Mulan’.

“We estimate that losses will grow to approximately N1.5 billion if cinemas remain closed for April. This does not include the losses from concessions such as popcorn and drinks, which could top N800 million for the same period,” says Babatope.

He also disclosed that the distribution arm of the company has delayed the release of several Nollywood movies in order to give them the best chance of success at the box-office.

Though the company has made some of Nollywood films available on streaming platforms, it is preparing for an avalanche of film releases when the world is safe again.