Your Excellency, Merry Men, Sugar Rush for yuletide
Three Nigerian movies, Your Excellency, Merry Men and Sugar Rush will be at cinemas across the country from December 13, 2019, to give foreign movies a run for their money. Your Excellency from the stable of Ebonylife Movies, which will be at the cinemas from December 13, 2019, is produced in partnership with Funke Akindele-Bello and her production company. Your Excellency also marked Akindele-Bello’s directorial debut.
Merry Men II, produced by comedian, Ayo Makun, will be in cinemas from December 20, 2019, while Sugar Rush, produced by Jade Osiberu, will be in cinemas from Christmas day, December 25, 2019. The movies are distributed by Film One.
While speaking on their expectations for the star-studded movies in Lagos at the 2019 Exhibitors Showcase by Film One Entertainment, actors, exhibitors, and cinemas operators in Nigeria agreed that they needed to work out a strategy that would help boost the number of cinemagoers across the country.
Nollywood actor, Ramsey Noah, who made his directorial debut with the current movie topping the chart in cinemas, Living in Bondage, and also stars in Merry Men, told The Guardian, “Merry Men II is about revenge mission. It’s a story about corrupt politicians who are thrown behind the bar and they return for revenge. I feel good that we were able to do something people will like and appreciate and also want to be part of. It makes me feel good that Nigerians still remember the original Living in Bondage that was shot in 1992 and they will come out and watch a sequel to it. It makes me feel very good that Nigerians are loving our jobs and work now. It is just like Nigerian music taking over the entertainment industry; now our films are getting towards that.”
Also, speaking on Sugar Rush, the producer, Jade Osiberu, said, “There is something about the synergy with everybody that worked on set Sugar Rush. We had so much fun making this film, and I’m really excited that a lot of people will see what we have created because I really do think that we’ve created something that’s timeless. This will be the first of many sugar rushes because I think it’s a really great project and we are not doing ourselves a favour if we don’t turn it into a franchise.”
Commenting on the movie Your Excellency and her expectation in terms of performance at the cinema, Chioma Omeruah said, “I think it is going to do well. I hope people will go out to see it, tell friends to come and see it and people will see it more than once. With the effort put into making this movie, I believe it is going to do great at the cinema.”
On her role, she said, “I played Madam Echiejile, who is one of the political aspirants for the president’s office. The only woman among the men, giving them a run for their money. It is a good film; everyone is going to love it.”
On his expectation for the movies, CEO of VIVA Cinema, Heri Ntimizi, said, “December is a golden month and my expectation is very simple. Most of the movies tend to do well in December and these three movies, Sugar Rush, an N400 million movie, Your Excellency, a N350 million film, and Merry Men II is another N400 million. So, there’s money to be made. There’s a lot of admissions in cinemas and people can enjoy the experience of December.
“My hope for the movies is not just for December; my hope is that these movies will carry the numbers to January and February. From Viva’s perspective, we are committed to giving customer experience using technology.
“On the number of audiences at the cinema, our objective is the numbers first, not the money. So far this year, only four million people attended the cinemas out of over 200 million people in Nigeria. So, what is needed right now is to have the correct pricing for people to afford tickets and from there to give them the experience. And furthermore, we must invest more in customers rather than thinking about making money. Making money is a result of having a lot of customers in the cinema and not the other way around.”