It was always sure to come to this, this generation has gone against 100-year-old conventions and she is still going to do it again. We still don't quite understand the effect of a time when information is so easy to transmit; when media is so easy to access and the channels they are aplenty.
Have you heard? Aunt Genny's movie premiered on Netflix; a whole Genevieve Nnaji. I was already thinking about the N2,000 I'd have to pay to watch it at the cinema, or if we'd be showing it in school and just like that, I saw it on my Instagram, that it's available on Netflix. Whattt!!?
I sharparly buzzed my people in the abroad, got password, logged in and I watched. On an 11dollars per month subscription, six of us watched 'Lionheart', the week it came out. LIONHEART!!! She now came the following week to say it's available in cinemas. You say wah? Apparently, major distributor didn't want to collect it, but as per Aunt Genny naa, we can't be mad at her for 24 hours.
It was surreal, but it didn't seem right. 2018 was the year four out of the top six grossing Nollywood movies of all time were released. Nigerians spent 600m in December at the cinemas. 'Chief Daddy' grossed 250m in 20 days. It has begun. The cinema culture is in full effect and the millions have started rolling in for the 'Kings of Boys' and the 'Merry Men'. Even 'The Vendors' are having a field day. And then a whole Queen Genny came out of the bottle with a lion's heart and it was so easy to watch. Kai, it's not right. This could start a plague that could damage Woods.
True, we don't know the numbers involved in the deal with Netflix, and it's a global market of unprecedented audience, but I'm pretty sure for the company to stay profitable maintaining such a humongous library on 11dollars per month subscriptions, the numbers can probably not organise one 'Wedding Party', talk less of 2.
What many may not realise is that this is a global war something, low key. Last year, at the Cannes, the cool kids of Hollywood and other film industries didn't want to have lunch with Netflix; they vehemently kicked against its films getting into the festival. Same thing with the Oscars. They feel threatened by the new kid trying to run their friends (the cinemas) out of business.
The movie industry as a whole EARNED 36.4billion dollars in 2018, thanks to the cinemas who make sure the movies are not available elsewhere at least for 90 days. Netflix alone is valued at about $138 billion, about $500million more than Disney, but it earned $178m in 2018, while Disney earned $54.73billion.
Tech companies like Netflix have these outrageous valuations because of the potential of their distribution channel, the Internet. Plot twist, Disney is launching its own streaming platform in 2019. We die here. Meaning, they'll no longer supply Netflix movies. AT&T is moving into the space too, Amazon is already in the ring. This kind of moves are the reasons why 2019 is going to be a defining moment in the movie and movie distribution industry. It's not like we don't love Netflix and Co., but they have their own place in this chain. Three months after the cinemas, it's obvious how they are trying to hasten a reduction of this window.
Aunt Genny already picked a side in 2018. She went with Netflix, a potential 200m gone from the cinemas' pockets.
God forbid that Kemi Adetiba's next one would premiere on Amazon Prime or something. She should kuku kill us first. Mo Abudu? she's with Sony, no shaking. Kunle Afolayan is a gentleman, he'll not deny us our popcorn. AY please be carevul, taink you.
The point is, yeah it's cool to Netflix and chill, but not to movies like 'Lionheart'. These kind of movies should come out in 2018 and some people should be looking for it till December 2020, all while it's getting sold out at cinemas and movie fests worldwide. This is the beauty of the whole industry.
The movie is a total heartwarmer BTW, make sure you watch it.......... at the cinemas :).
Oluwatunmise Kareem is CEO, Openhouse Media Africa/Openhouse Cinemas