breaking the box office - the spark youth empowerment platform in nigeria

The Art of Breaking the Box Office


To be a filmmaker, one cannot overemphasize the place of passion – an important factor in taking up any venture. However, as a business venture, making a profit is imperative in film-making. Beyond profit-making, making ends meet and having resources to undertake passion projects drives the need to Break the Box office.


By Emem Isong

Africa is a hub of good stories and we are yet to even scratch the surface of all the stories we have to offer but many talents are discouraged because of funding and the place of profit. Fortunately, the present Nigerian movie industry could be quite profitable depending on a number of factors: the kind of film you make, the reason for making the film and the strategy you employ in marketing the film.

Before thinking about how profitable the film would be, one has to think about how to fund the project as that would determine the kind of film you make and that’s a major factor militating against the plethora of African stories that needs to be told.

There are many ways to get funding for your projects but, I believe investor funding is more profitable because, with investors, you would likely have more to spend and may be open to spending more on the film as against when self-funded. Self-funding can get you so far, except, of course, you have access to a large pool of fund. If not, I would suggest seeking investors.

Sharing the risks with like-minded investors can also help. If you are not comfortable with an investor completely financing the movie, you could collaborate with other investors and pull funds together.

The reason why it is important to get proper funding is that low-budget films hardly do as much as heavily-funded films. Except we are talking about a short film, quality will be seriously compromised without enough funds to get the stories told right. Of course, the funds needed to make a good feature film would depend on the genre and the story being told but generally, good funding is necessary.

To make a good profit, after spending enough to make a good film, one also needs to spend enough on marketing the film. The difference between the success of Film A and that of B could be the marketing strategy. The truth is that most times, a film with a poor storyline does better than another with a richer storyline because it enjoyed good marketing. Also, note that a good story that is well told is one of the keys to the success of any film.

Marketing plays a significant role in selling a film, especially films going for theatrical releases. I  believe that a considerable percentage of the budget of the film should be channeled towards the marketing of the film. Good marketing cannot be stressed enough.

Using influential and established actors also help the film if the popular actors are willing to utilize their social media platforms in marketing the film.

In Nigeria, connections and networks play a huge part in the profitability of a film. Make use of your network if you have one and try to put more effort into building a good network if you don’t have one.

I would also like to emphasize that the marketing of the film should start even from the point of planning the movie. There is so much power in teasing and building anticipation, take advantage of it.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.


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