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The success of video films transformed the Nigerian film industry into “Nollywood,” a global movie powerhouse and one of the largest employers in the country. Nigerian film companies turned out four to five films a day for an estimated audience of fifteen million in Nigeria and five million in other African countries.
Though profitable, Nollywood video films were low-budget productions. Government investment in Nigerian cinema and a wave of modern movie theaters that refused to show video films led to industry-wide changes in the 2000s. The result was the New Nigerian Cinema, which showcased professional production values, talented Nigerian actors, and complex stories. Audiences flocked to hit movies like Kunle Afolayan’s Irapada (2006) and Kemi Adetiba’s The Wedding Party (2016), which set box office records and drew invitations from international film festivals.
The New Nigerian Cinema made the Nigerian film industry the second-largest film sector globally, surpassing even the United States and the third most profitable, with a $5.1 billion valuation in 2013. Nigeria cinema accounted for 5% of the country’s GDP. Latest Nigerian Nollywood movies and TV shows have gained global viewers thanks to distribution deals with Western streaming services.

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