Ngg.ng Top Ten Nollywood Movies of 2019
In a few days, the year 2019 will wind up. So far, it has been a year of memories with incredibly amazing Nollywood releases. Looking back with nostalgia, ngg.ng’s Seunmanuel Faleye brings to readers pleasure top of Nollywood movies of the year. In no particular order, enjoy.
1. LIVING IN BONDAGE: Breaking Limits N124,538,284
Released November 8, this movie remains the biggest grosser so far this year. The movie closed its first weekend with the sum of N25.8 million and grossed a total of N48.6 million within seven days.
27 years after the original story was released, the duo of Play Entertainment Network and Natives Filmworks Production present a sequel of this Nollywood classic, with veteran actor Ramsey Noah, as the lead villain and first time director.
LIB: Breaking Free follows the story of Nnamdi Okeke son of Andy Okeke from the original story, Living In Bondage 1, who is an ambitious young man who wants more out of life. Snag is, he can’t afford the kind of life he wants with his current income. An encounter with Chief Ibaka a family friend with a notoriously dark past opens the door to all he has dreamt. But it all comes at a great price, that will change his life forever.
The movie provides a good blend of old and new Nollywood faces, including, Kenneth Okonkwo, Ramsey Noah, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Enyinna Nwigwe, Zulu Adigwe, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Nancy Isime, Munachi Abii and introduced Swanky JKA.
The movie made a total of N124, 538,284 at the cinemas.
2. The Set Up N54,220,715
The Set up was released across Nigerian cinemas on 9 August. Directed by Nollywood box office darling, Niyi Akinmolayan, the movie stars an array of Nollywood sweethearts such as Adesuwa Etomi, Dakore Egbusan-Akande, Jim Iyke, Kehinde Bankole among others.
The movie tells the tale of a retired drug smuggler, who gets more than she bargains for when she is hired by a socialite to assist with his scheme to marry a wealthy heiress.
The movie did N54,220,715.
3. BLING LAGOSIANS. N120,323,589
This movie debuted in the cinema in June 2019, and was produced and directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters . With Bling Lagosians, Austen-Peters expanded her rang, by debuting as a film director through this film that promised to deliver comedy and drama, but did not deliver impressively on the former.
Bling Lagosians told the story of the upper-class Lagosians, the opulence, panache and conflict that comes with living on that side of life. This was a niche carved by The Wedding Party, but it did not thrive in the slapstick mode that made the former an instant hit and a viewers delight. While Bling Lagosians was honestly enjoyable as a drama, it didn’t deliver the accompanying comedy it promised.
The movie told the story of the Holloways, a reputable family living in Lagos. They hobnob with the high and mighty of the society, their family name is only synonymous with class and luxury. Their biggest family legacy, the high-rise, St. Ives Towers is about to be repossessed by the bank whom they owe billions of unpaid debts. Akin Holloway would do all within his means to forestall the impending shame about to befall his family name, and this is happening against the backdrop of the planned fifty-first flamboyant birthday Mopelola Holloway, the sophisticated wife of Akin. Her plan is to make statement on Society pages headlines, shattering the records she set the previous year with her fiftieth birthday.
As Akin moves to halt the birthday plans, she unwittingly sets a series of events into motion that would have repercussions far from pleasant for the Holloway household.
The party is estimated to cost hundreds of millions of naira, and this is after spending an astronomical one million dollars for her 50th. The drama snowballs into a thrilling cinema experience.
At the end of its cinema rounds, the movie made a total of N120,323,589.
4. Love Is War. N31,192,832
The movie is a political drama directed by box office queen, Omoni Oboli who also features as lead actor. Love is War tells the very contemporary story of a husband and wife.
The Wife, Hankuri Philips is a serving minister of the Federal Republic, who has been announced by the president to be the party’s flag bearer in an upcoming gubernatorial election.
The snag however is, she is not the preferred choice of the party’s stalwarts at the state level for reasons not unconnected from gender bias and her not being an indigene of the state. Her affiliation with the state is only by marriage.
In twist of plot, her once supportive medical doctor husband is tipped as gubernatorial candidate of the opposition party. The movie ostensibly draws its title from what ensues afterwards.
Richard Mofe-Damijo played Omoni’s pair, although, some pundits have posited that Omoni was not a proper cast for her role, as she is said to lack the clout for a grass root influencer for her role.
As a couple however, both RMD and Oboli delivered a class act performance and they both delivered a comfortable blend of the strata of society the re-enacted.
Other stars in the movie were Jide Kosoko, Bimbo Manuel, Femi Branch, Yemi Blaq, and Uzo Osimkpa.
Love is War grossed N31,192,832.
5. MOKALIK N46,770,946
Directed by accomplished filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, Naturally, this movie shouldn’t be on this list, but it made it here, because, it was different from what we are used to in this clime. The movie was an experiment that worked.
Mokalikk tells the story of eleven-year-old Ponmile whose life changes when he is sent to work as an apprentice at a mechanic workshop far from his home in the suburbs.
This movie has been described as a being more of a documentary drama than a feature by some pundits, because. It delivers an expository on what a 24 hour looks like at a mechanic workshop. To retain the indigenous flavor of the movie, Afolayan paraded an array of Yoruba film stars like Lateef Adedimeji, Femi Adebayo, Ayo Adesanya, Faithia Williams, Ebun Oloyede, Olayiwola Rasaq.
Others faces featured in the movie are music sensation, Simi, Big Brother Nigeria Star Tobi Bakare among others.
The movie closed at N46,770,946.
6. Elevator Baby N30,901,650
Elevator Baby tells the story of Dare (Timini Egbuson), a privileged young man with a fiery temper, who got stuck in a faulty elevator with a semi-literate pregnant woman in labour (Toyin Abraham). Dare is left with no choice but to try and save both mother and child. This experience brings him face to face with his inner demons.
Directed by Akay Mason.
7. Gold Statue. N30,707,252
Gold Statue is a comedy-drama that tells the story of two young men on the quest to find a Gold Statue believed to be a heritage of their generation. This adventure sees them falling into a lot of trouble which they have to save themselves from with the help of their perplexed parents.
Gold Statue was produced and directed by veteran filmmaker, Tade Ogidan.
8. Kasanova (N22,509,000),
This one is a romcom. Kasanova tells the story of, well, a casanova. Femi (Wale Ojo) is a widower with an affinity for anything in skirts. Femi is a widower with a son (Jason). He finds it difficult to get over his late wife and so in a bid to move on, he indulges in several uncommitted relationships. Then he falls in love with Jessica, a single mom who is a preoccupied with her musical career and is impatient with her daughter, Ini.
Directed by Oluseyi Asurf N22,509,000
9. Cold Feet.
‘Cold Feet’ is one of the movies that made 2019 a great year for lovers of Nollywood. Aside from bringing back Joselyn Dumas and Jim Iyke to collaborate with Enyinna Nwigwe and Beverly Naya, ‘Cold Feet’ as directed by Moses Inwang is an interesting film. With a good storyline that revolves around two ex-lovers, who met again while being married to different spouses, ‘Cold Feet,’ had Enyinna and Joselyn interpreting their roles convincingly and Jim Iyke alongside Beverly Naya playing the victims. Overall, it was a well-accepted movie by viewers and critics.
10. Merry Men 11 (N100,000,000 in opening week)
Comedian and actor, Ayo Makun returns with his action comedy Merry Men 2. Ome of the most talked about movie this December, the movie has continued to shatter more records as AY is known for.
Things have changed for the charming foursome, the Merry Men. They’ve hung the boots on robbing the rich to give to the poor and focus squarely on running their businesses. AYO ALESINLOYE, the charming leader of the pack, prepares to wed EFCD field operative, DERA, the love of his life. Naz prepares to be a father, thrilled that KEMI, his wife and Ayo’s younger sister, is pregnant. Amaju and Remi, well – they remain inveterate men-about-town, enjoying wine, women and the good life. But while on a short vacation in Lagos, each of them are besieged by vicious gunmen, led by four FEMALE MASKED BIKERS. After a chaotic struggle with the armed assailants, the Merry Men are overcome, and Kemi, Naz’s wife and Ayo’s sister, is kidnapped. DAME MADUKA, the corrupt politician who the Merry Men exposed, contacts the four enraged friends to reveal that she’s behind the attack. She promises to release Kemi if the four friends destroy all incriminating evidence to be used against her in a hearing. They have 72 hours, failing which, Kemi will be murdered. Deeply enraged and highly motivated, the Merry Men must return to old ways to overcome Dame Maduka and rescue Kemi. They rush back Abuja where Kemi’s been taken to formulate a plan of rescue. But the barriers before the Merry Men are tougher than they ever encountered. The evidence against Dame Maduka is in the headquarters of the EFCD, a government agency that’s impossible to breach. Naz, Kemi’s husband, is so inflamed by his wife’s abduction, he gradually loses touch of reality and proves a risk to the team. Worst, the four LADY BIKERS who led the attack on the Merry Men are not just uniquely-trained and highly-skilled in weapon use, combat and infiltration, they are led by the deadly ZARA AMINU, who can predict any move and strategy the Merry Men makes because years ago, she was one of them. Merry Men II continues the adventures of Ayo, Naz, Amaju and Remi on another fast-paced and high-tension mission. This time though, they may be way in over their head, egged on only by their love for and desperate determination to save Kemi.
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