While the year started with the usual comedies that do not challenge or engage the moviegoer, it is ending with a bang.
Kemi Adetiba’s audacious King of Boys is killing it commercially – the movie has grossed 100 million – and is revered among critics.
While Ay’s Merry Men – arguably the best Ay movie till date – has found his way into the upper echelon of Nollywood’s highest grossing movies. The movie has made over 260 million naira.
However, things are about to get even better because the Nollywood movies opening this December feature potential mega box office hits and critically acclaimed movies.
1. Chief Daddy (2018)
Probably the biggest of the Nollywood movies opening this december. Chief Daddy is another mega comedy with an enviable cast from EbonyLife Films. On the cast, Mo Abudu told Variety, “even we haven’t done a feature film that has this much star power.”
When an extravagant, exuberant billionaire patriarch drops dead at the dinner table, a mad scramble for his fortune ensues among his extended family, household staff and a few mistresses.
Chief Daddy has the potential and star power to unseat Mo’s previous smash hit and Nollywood’s most successful movie, The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai; since it is a comical family movie being released in the holiday season.
Cast: Nkem Owoh, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Falz the Bhad Guy, Dakore Akande Funke Akindele, Bisola Aiyeola, Shaffy Bello, Zainab Balogun, Rachel Oniga, Ini Edo, Linda Ejiofor, Kate Henshaw, Uti Nwachukwu, Patience Ozokwor, Joke Silva, Beverly Naya, Beverly Osu, Chigul, and Jude MI Abaga.
Director: Niyi Akinmolayan.
Release Date: December 14.
2. Up North (2018)
Up North is an epic Northern-Nigeria story inspired by producer Editi Effiong’s journey around the country, listening to people’s stories, and realizing we hardly tell Nigerian stories outside Lagos. Editi, who has been writing since he was 12, decided to make movies about the different stories he heard.
A film about Bassey Otuekong, who gets sent to Bauchi for his NYSC assignment as a punishment for defying his father.
According to Editi, Up North is one of the biggest Nollywood movies ever in terms of sheer scale; on some days, there were between 15,000 and 20,000 extras on set.
Cast: Bankole ‘Banky W’ Wellington, Ibrahim Sulaimon, Rahama Sauda, Adesua Etomi, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Michelle Dede, Akin Lewis, Hilda Dokubo, and Tokunbo ‘Tboss’ Idowu.
Director: Tope Oshin.
Release Date: December 28.
3. God Calling (2018)
God Calling is a faith-based movie that explores faith, hope, healing, and hearing from God. The trailer promises an emotional roller coaster and compelling performances I cannot wait to see.
What would you do if you really got a call from God?
Nigerian faith-based movies have always told compelling stories but they are mostly amateurish. But BB Sasore’s God Calling is different and it is the most exciting on this list for me.
Cast: Richard Mofe-Damijo, Karibi Fubara, Zainab Balogun, Onyeka Onwenu, Nkem Owoh, Tina Mba, and Eku Edewor.
Director: BB Sasore.
Release Date: December 21.
4. Knock Out Blessing (2018)
Knock Out Blessing is Dare Olaitan’s sophomore feature and it has big shoes to fill. His debut, Ojukokoro, which is now available on Amazon Prime, was named the best Nigerian movie of 2017 by Pulse Movies and Ynaija!.
After convincing everyone about his vision and distinct style with Ojukororo, Dare Olaitian let many down with the Ndani’s Lagos Big Boy. Writing for Pulse Movies, Chidumga Izuzu says, “it’s outrightly so bad that it’s bad.”
With Knock Out Blessing, he has a chance to redeem himself. This comedy crime-thriller is about a girl who was born in the village and comes to Lagos after a great personal tragedy with her grandpa who was training her to be a boxer.
An intriguing tale about three girls on an adventure to survive, which takes them down a path that leads into the criminal sector of our political underworld.
Cast: Ade Laoye, Linda Ejiofor, Meg Otanwa, Demola Adedoyin, Tope Tedela, Udoka Oyeka, Paul Utomi, KC Ejelonu, Bucci Franklin, Gbenga Titiloye, Sammie Eddie, Iyke Michael, Mary Kowo, Sandra Eze, and Tony Akposheri.
Director: Dare Olaitan.
Release Date: December 7.
5. Power of 1(2018)
The unique thing about Izu Ojukwu is his commitment to telling Nigerian stories. While we await the historical epic, Amina, he blesses us with the socially conscious Power of 1.
Coming out in time before the 2019 election, Power of 1 is designed to inspire and it looks at the great revolution we have always spoken of in Nigeria but are too afraid to carry out.
It takes 1 voice to spark a movement. 1 action to alter the course of events. It may have taken decades to foist total submission to despair. But it takes 1 experience to trigger a mental reset.
Cast: Alexx Ekubo, Ramsey Nouah, Anni Idibia, Jide Kosoko, Jibola Dabo, Lucy Ameh, Bimbo Manuel, IK Osakioduwa, Rachel Oniga, and Michelle Dede.
Director: Izu Ojukwu.
Release Date: December 7.
6. Kasala! (2018)
Film critic Oris Aigbokhaevbolo, writing for Bellanaija, predicted Kasala! will be the movie that “saves the year.” He had a point. As I said earlier in the post, the year was a slow one in terms of good movies.
But luckily for us, Ema Edosio’s debut feature is not the only good movie out of Nollywood this year. The Nollywood movies opening this December all look promising.
Kasala! is a movie about a day in the life of four young men who try to find a solution to a problem within 5 hours by exploring every avenue known to them.
Kasala! was released earlier this year but after touring over 20 film festival, bagging awards locally and internationally, it is being re-released this December.
Cast: Jide Kosoko, Mike Afolarin, Chimezie Imo, Nwagbaraocha Emeka, Gabriel Afolayan, Sambasa Nzeribe, and Tomiwa Tegbe
Director: Ema Edosio.
Release Date: December 7.