June 28, 2022 morpheus

Box Office Numbers

Understanding moviegoers and what motivates them.

The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) recently said it generated N653 million in ticket sales in May. “21 Nollywood films shown in May accounted for 28 percent of total ticket sales while 14 films, Hollywood films accounted for about 69 percent, with “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” being the major outliner, according to a report in the Nigerian Vanguard Newspaper.

Box office tracking is so central to the way filmmakers think about movies that it has become hard for anyone to talk about the quality of a film without making its box office haul a significant part of the conversation. On the weekend of March 25 to 27, 2022, The Batman recorded the highest box office revenue in Nigeria, reaching almost 11.2 million Nigerian naira (NGN). A simple Lie, a Nollywood production, followed in the ranking with over 9.8 million NGN. Furthermore, The Contractor, a Tarik Saleh-directed film, ranked third. Statistica report as shown by the diagram below.

Looking at the larger picture, the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector accounted for 0.18 percent of Nigeria’s GDP back in the third quarter of 2021. The industry’s participation slightly declined compared to the first quarter of 2020, when it reached 0.31 percent.

The weird thing is box office never really had a proper place in that conversation for the audiences in the first place, only the filmmakers. Sometimes it is helpful to use a movie’s popularity to infer quality via social proof. Still, plenty of great movies flop at the box office, and some poorly reviewed movies bring massive box office hauls.

"The weird thing is box office never really had a proper place in that conversation for the audiences in the first place, only the filmmakers."

In a market characterized by a vast number of consumers irregularly and infrequently choosing from a constantly changing menu of possibilities, widely available impartial information and advice would be expected to significantly impact demand.

We, film marketers, are burdened with spending a lot of time and energy thinking about who will see our movies. Therefore, it is essential for producers, investors, directors, marketers, and creatives who want to optimize their film releases for maximum box office success to understand moviegoers and what motivates them to see a particular film.

We at Morpheus Multimedia are a data-driven consultancy that offers insights through a deep dive into identifying opportunities to scope movie audiences by analyzing which channels resonate with current and prospective moviegoers. A conjoint analysis, combing real-life scenarios and statistical techniques with the modeling of actual market decisions while proactively adjusting marketing plans in response to insights from social media will be a practical approach.

"Film marketers are burdened with spending a lot of time and energy thinking about who will see our movies."

From experience, the areas to focus on are the weeks leading up to a film’s release and the weeks after the movies hit theaters. The elements to look out for include:

  • Understanding how different media channels contribute to the box office numbers we believe will help in adjusting marketing ad spend.
  • The role of paid media and the impact on earned engagements online. The relationship between Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc., and film-specific Google search activity, on viral film impressions.
  • An assessment of the return on ad spend (ROAS) because it is a fact that not all media channels deliver the same results.

This approach will enable us to query which media channels most efficiently contributes to a movie’s success at the box office to achieve the best possible return on investment?


Fágbèmí Ọ̀ṣìnúgà

There has always been concern about understanding moviegoers and what motivates them to watch a movie at the cinemas. This is my thought process on how we can optimize film releases for maximum box office success. Kindly share this article with your network if you enjoyed it.

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