Ever felt tricked into seeing a bad Nollywood film?
What are the characteristics of a bad film? They posses cringe-worthy acting, bland dialogue, unnecessary shots and an inconsistent plot.
Surprisingly, most of the movies released in Nigerian cinemas have the above-mentioned qualities. So how do filmmakers trick audiences into seeing their very terrible films?
Check out how:
1. A-listers in the mix.
What do “A Trip to Jamaica,” “Entreat” and “Celebrity Marriage” have in common?
They all feature A-List and popular actors with very huge fan bases: AY Makun, Toyin Aimakhu, Odunlade Adekola, Funke Akindele, among others.
Some movies use its stars’ brand appeal among the general audience to trick people into seeing it in the cinema.
Consider this: In 2017, Moses Inwang released “Alter Ego,” a movie which marked Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’s return to the Nigerian movie industry after a four-year break.
Ekeinde is arguably one of the industry’s biggest stars. So it made sense that the producer used her brand to promote the movie.
First came a trailer that featured the actress in sexually explicit positions with co-actors, Wale Ojo and Kunle Remi. Then came a poster that featured just the actress in a striking outfit that reflected the movie’s title.
The conversations started, and almost everyone – hardcore and estranged fans of Nollywood – wanted to see “Alter Ego.”
After all, who wouldn’t want to see one of Nollywood’s biggest actors make a comeback in a ‘sexually graphic’ film?
In the end, the movie received mixed reviews from the audience and critics. A great percentage of them paid to watch it just because of its lead actor.
2. A well cut trailer
Ever seen a bad movie because it had an intriguing and interesting trailer? That’s how powerful an effective trailer is.
Trailers are considered to be a kind of advert released before a film hits the cinema or the market for public viewing.
Many times, audiences are fed beautiful, but misleading trailers that cover up for a terrible film.
You only find out you’ve been tricked after you have spent your money and time to see the complete film.
3. Sometimes, actors’ fame alone won’t do the trick, so, extensive marketing campaign
Critically-panned movies such as “30 Days in Atlanta” and “Celebrity Marriage” are more likely to bring in more money than an engaging biopic, horror or sci-fi.
So distributors encourage these bad films and spend huge amounts of money on marketing – billboards on the streets of Lagos, posters on BRT buses – just to make sure their bad films would fill seats and break box office records.
4. Hype, hype and more hype….
Buzz is good for any business, especially, the film business. And sometimes, that hype is self-initiated.
In 2016, just to get the internet talking about her and her film, Omoni Oboli and her “Wives on Strike” co-stars started an online feud.
A month later, Oboli responded to ‘claims’ that the film was copied from Spike Lee‘s satirical musical drama, “Chiraq.”
There was no public allegation against Oboli, but we got a public explanation nevertheless, drawing attention to her new film.
Oboli’s film received mixed reviews but is currently the eighth highest grossing Nollywood film with 71 million naira.
With impressive cast, trailers, posters, interesting junket interviews, and promotional appearances on shows by the film’s cast, even terrible films like “Accidental Spy” can become the highest grossing Nollywood movie.
All you have to do is find the best way to trick viewers to the cinema.