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Nollywood is a multi-billion dollar film industry with an average production volume of about 50 movies every week. In 2009, Nollywood had outranked Hollywood to become the second largest film industry by volume after Bollywood. Nollywood is also the second largest employer in Nigeria after the agricultural sector. The number of people it employs are estimated to be over a million.

What is Nollywood?

As far as history is concerned, the term Nollywood was firstly used by Matt Steinglass in an article he wrote for The New York Times magazine in the year 2002. Norimitsu Onishi (a Japanese-Canadian journalist) became the second journalist to use this term in an article he wrote for the same magazine (The New York Times magazine) later on in the same year. Since then, Nollywood has often been used in the media to refer to all the activities taking place in the Nigerian film Industry. Nollywood is derived from a linguistic blend of two words; Nigeria and Hollywood (the United States film industry). Some stakeholders have negatively responded to the use of the term Nollywood because it was conceived by a foreigner (Matt Steinglass). Some have disputed that it is not original but an imitation of what was already in existence, that is, Bollywood (An Indian film industry derived from a linguistic blend of the words Bombay and Hollywood). Despite arguments to the contrary, the term Nollywood has continuously been used to refer to the Nigerian Film Industry to date.
Nollywood is by far Africa’s biggest film industry in terms of production volume, revenue and popularity. It is then no surprise that some of its movies are making a lot of money from screenings, online streaming and DVD sales.
The following are the highest grossing Nollywood movies of all time.

10. A trip to Jamaica

Box Office: ₦ 150 million
Director: Robert Peters
Producer: Ayo Makun

A trip to Jamaica is a Nigerian comedy drama released on the 25th of September 2016 in Nigeria. It is about a newly engaged couple (Akpos and Bola) who traveled to the United States for their pre-Wedding honeymoon. They went to live with Bola’s sister (Abigail) and her husband (Michael). You will discover later in the movie that Michael is a drug baron who was on the run from a mafia group in a cartel. He caused the kidnapping of Abigail, Akpos, Bola and himself but later on rescued by the police from the mafia. Michael realizes that his location has been compromised and he quickly relocates to Jamaica. This movie has broken records to be the first Nollywood movie to hit ₦ 62 million ($160,000) in the first week of its release date and the fastest film to gross ₦ 100 million ($ 258,065) in 17 days.

9. Ten days in Sun City

Box Office: ₦ 176.7 million ($456,000)
Director: Adze Ugah
Producer: Darlington Abuda

Ten days in Sun City is an action-comedy Nigerian movie released on the 17th of June 2017 in Nigeria. It is another movie on the adventures of Akpos and this time, the adventure is happening in South Africa. The Queen of Nigeria pageant is launched and Bianca (Akpos’ girlfriend) dreams of contesting in the pageant. Akpos, who is also Bianca’s manager, calls in for some favors and managed to get Bianca into the pageant. Fortunately enough, Bianca wins the contest and becomes the face of a cosmetic brand owned by Otunba Williams (the richest man in Nigeria). Bianca is flown to Sun City in South Africa to shoot a campaign for the cosmetic brand. Bianca wants Akpos (her manager) to escort her to Sun City and it is at this point where things take an unexpected turn.

8. Your Excellency

Box Office: ₦ 186.3 million ($480,774)
Director: Funke Akindele
Producer: Funke Akindele

Your Excellency is a political-Comedy Nigerian movie released on the 13th Of December 2019 in Nigeria. It is about a billionaire businessman Chief Olalekan Ajadi who is for some reason obsessed with the current president of the United States of America, Donald Trump. Chief Ajadi is also a presidential candidate of Nigeria. Fate seems not to be on his side as he had failed the presidential elections a couple of times. Through the power of social media, Chief Ajadi escapes another promising disaster and is elected by a major political party to become its reliable contender.

7. Merry Men 2: Another Mission

Box Office: ₦ 234 million ($472,088)
Director: Moses Inwang
Producer: Darlington Abuda

Merry men 2 is an action-comedy movie and a sequel to Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons which is number six on this list. It was released on the 20th of December 2019 in Nigeria. Things have taken a turn on the second merry men movie. The four men have stopped stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. They are now on a completely different mission, to run their own business. There is a lot of interesting events going on in this movie that involves kidnappings, assassinations, political conflicts and many more. Ayo Alesinloye prepares to wed the love of his life (Dera), Naz Okigbo prepares to be a father, Remi Martins and Amaju Abioritsegbemi still remain the same enjoying women and the good life they built for themselves.

6. Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons

Box Office: ₦ 235.6 million ($475,316)
Director: Toka Macbaror
Producer: Darlington Abuda

Merry Men is a Nigerian drama which was released on the 28th of September 2018 in Nigeria. It is about four bachelors (Remi Martins, Amaju Abioritsegbemi, Ayo Alesinloye and Naz Okigbo) who steal from the rich and freely give to the poor. They are kinda like “The robin hood of Abuja”. They seduce and have sex with the most beautiful and powerful women in the country and get contracts from powerful politicians. Their biggest challenge is facing a stubborn and corrupt politician who plans on destroying a village so he could build a mall. The first Merry Men movie is all about protecting and fighting for the poor.

5. King of boys

Box Office: ₦ 245 million ($ 632,258)
Director: Kemi Adetiba
Producers: Kemi Adetiba, Kene Okwuosa and Remi Adetiba

King of boys is a Nigerian crime-political thriller released on the 20th of October 2018 under Kemi Adetiba Visuals in Nigeria. It is about a successful businesswoman, philanthropist and a promising politician, Alhaja Eniola Salimi. She is loved and feared by almost every person but only a few of them truly know her for who she is. Alhaja Salimi got her wealth and fame from an underworld connection and her growing political ambitions seems to outgrow the connection, forcing her to get drawn into a struggle for power which poses a threat to everything around her life.

4. Sugar Rush

Box Office: ₦ 287 million ($740,645)
Director: Kayode Kasum
Producers: Abimbola Craig and Jade Osiberu

Sugar Rush is a Nigerian action-comedy film released on Christmas day (the 25th of December) in the year 2019. This movie is about three sisters who stumbled upon $800,000 pile of cash inside the mansion of a corrupt man, Chief Douglas. They both agreed to steal and keep the money. A few days later, the three sisters started spending some of the money only to be visited by a certain mafias that came to claim the stake of the cash. The news got to the government which issued a search warrant for the sugar sisters but they were no where to be found. Andy, sola’s boyfriend had already stolen the money from the sugar sisters without their awareness. Andy later on lost his life in the process of running away from the sugar sisters who were chasing him after they realized that he had stolen their money. The mafia abducted the sugar sisters and forced them to steal more money from “The white lion” who is the husband of the head of the mafia. The movie has a lot of turns and in the end, the money was discovered to be fake and incomplete.

3. Chief Daddy

Box Office: ₦ 387.5 million ($1 million)
Director: Niyi Akinmolayan
Producer: Temidayo Abudu

Chief Daddy is a Nigerian comedy film released on 14th of December 2018 under EbonyLife films. This film is about an industrial billionaire, Chief Beecroft, who is the provider of a large extended family of relatives and households staff. Billionaire Beecroft dies unexpectedly and his will creates a very long and interesting series of incidents amongst his extended family and household staff. They all scramble for what they think is their fair share of Chief Beecroft’s wealth.

2. The Wedding Party

Box Office: ₦ 453 million ($1,169,032)
Director: Kemi Adetiba
Producers: Don Omope, Zulu Oyibo and Ijeoma Agukoronye

The Wedding Party is a Nigerian romantic-comedy movie released on the 8th of September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival and released in Nigeria on the 16th of December 2016. It is about the marriage between Dozie Onwuka and Dunni Cooker. Dozie Onwuka comes from a wealthy family and his mother considers her son to be marrying a low life. The Wedding Party is prepared by a restless wedding planner who is trying to make everything look perfect for the wedding. Family and friends gather to have breakfast before the wedding and Dunni’s friends mock her for her lack of sexual experience while Dozie’s friends tease him about the bachelor party they had a day before the wedding day. While going from the wedding ceremony to the party, Dunni is upset with her husband after she finds a pair of women’s underwear in Dozie’s jacket. Dozie tries to defend himself and suggests that someone must have put them there and a here arises misunderstanding. When giving the best man’s speech, Sola accidentally plays a footage of what it looks like Dozie being unfaithful to Dunni. Dunni sadly leaves the premises in a taxi. Dozie and some of his family members set out to look for Dunni and unexpectedly encounter a thief who delayed the process. Dozie’s elder brother manages to overpower the thief and they also manage to find Dunni who agreed to go back after the misunderstanding was cleared.

1. The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai

Box Office: ₦ 500 million ($1,290,323)
Director: Niyi Akinmolayan
Producer: Priscilla Nwanah

The wedding party 2 is the highest grossing Nollywood film of all time. It is a sequel to The Wedding Party. It was released on the 15th of December 2017 in Nigeria. It is about Dozie’s elder brother, Nonso. Nonso falls in love with a British girl, Deirdre, who was Dunni’s bridesmaid. They keep their romance alive until one faithful day when Nonso accidentally proposes to Deirdre while on a dinner date in Dubai. Deirdre’s family was against the match but after a series of incidents, both family finally agreed to a wedding in Dubai.

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