It has been two years since Prime Video started acquiring licences for Nigerian content on its platform. It’s worth mentioning as recently in the year, consumer data obtained by Flix Patrol demonstrated that Nigerian users of the movie streaming service consistently exhibited a strong preference for domestically made films, which has remained a prevalent trend throughout the year.
Flix Patrol published streaming data for Prime Video’s top 10 most-watched titles in Nigeria for the year 2023, and notably, all of these top 10 films belong to the Nollywood genre.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 Nollywood films that captivated Nigerians and kept them engaged on the Prime Video streaming platform.
No. 1 on the streaming charts is “Brotherhood.”
Synopsis: “Brotherhood” tells the story of two brothers Wale (Falz) and Akin (Tobi Bakre) who, after struggling to survive on the streets of Lagos, find themselves on opposing sides of the law.
This crime-action thriller was produced by Jade Osiberu and features a cast including Tobi Bakre, Boma Akpore, Falz, Basketmouth, Sam Dede, Ronke Oshodi Oke, Toni Tones, Zubby Micheal, Mr Macaroni, and many others.
The movie initially hit cinemas on September 23, 2022, and later became available for streaming on January 7, 2023.
- Gangs of Lagos
Arguably one of the best movies to have dropped in 2023, “Gangs of Lagos” is a Nigerian gangster crime thriller film produced and directed by Jade Osiberu.
The movie revolves around a group of friends whose lives have been entangled with crime and violence since their childhood in the Isale Eko area of Lagos, Nigeria.
“Gangs of Lagos” boasts a star-studded cast including Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi, Iyabo Ojo, Demi Banwo, Chioma Akpotha, Damilola Ogunsi, Tayo Faniran, Zlatan Ibile, Bimbo Ademoye, Toyin Abraham, Yvonne Jegede, Yinka Quadri, Chike, Pasuma, and many others.
This film had its premiere on Prime Video on April 7, 2023, marking it as the first Amazon Original Movie from Africa.
- Big Love
For those who may have lost hope in love, “Big Love” is a heartwarming tale of romance that will rekindle your belief in love. And for those who haven’t yet experienced love’s full embrace, it’s the kind of love story that makes you ponder, “God when?”
The film reaffirms the notion that love can be discovered in the most unlikely of places, as Adil and Adina find a fresh and blossoming love during a job training camp.
Within just five days of its release on the streaming platform, “Big Love” swiftly claimed the No. 1 spot on Prime Video Naija, and this success wasn’t surprising given the compelling and well-crafted story it offered.
This movie was written and directed by the renowned Director, Biodun Stephen, and it featured a star-studded cast including Bimbo Ademoye, Timini Egbuson, Teniola Aladese, Seyi Awolowo, Shaffy Bello, Kalu Ikeagwu, Jaiye Kuti, and Deza The Great.
Although initially released in cinemas in August 2022, “Sista” later found its way to a streaming platform, where it became available for viewing on June 23, 2023.
The movie tells a compelling story of a struggling single mother who confronts her worst fears when the father of her children re-enters their lives and takes over their attention.
With a talented cast that includes Deyemi Okanlawon, Kehinde Bankole, Bisola Aiyeola, Tope Olowoniyan, Blessing Jessica Obasi-Nze, Chris Iheuwa, and more, this emotionally charged film was skillfully directed by the accomplished director, Biodun Stephen.
- House of Secrets
Directed by Niyi Akinmolayan in collaboration with Anthill Studios, “The House of Secrets” was exclusively released on Prime Video on June 30, 2023.
A romance drama and film noir, a cinematic term used for movies that are mostly shot in gloomy grey, black, and white as it was set in Nigeria’s 1999 military-to-democracy transition days and the present-day democratic landscape of the country.
“The House of Secrets” is a psychological thriller that explores themes of trust, life’s choices influenced by love, and the interplay of different time periods through the use of flashbacks in both dialogue and cinematography.
The spy thriller features a notable cast, including Najite Dede, Femi Jacobs, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Efe Irele, Shawn Faqua, Kate Henshaw, Anee Icha, Emeka Nwagbaraocha, Taye Arimoro, Gbugbemi Ejeye, Moyinoluwa Olutayo, Ekpenyong Bassey Inyang, Ebisan Arayi, Tobi Daniels, Matty Bayelsa, and Fiyinfoluwa Asenuga.
- Battle on Buka Street
On the list of highest-grossing Nigerian films, “Battle on Buka Street” holds the first spot at the box office.
The comedy film tells the story of two half-sisters who had previously had a lifetime of rivalry and set up food businesses on the same street. They found each other again and resumed their rivalry.
Based on its storytelling, the movie captures compelling actions exploring polygamy, emotion, resilience and comedy. It takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
Some notable casts include Funke Akindele, Mercy Johnson, Sola Sobowale, Bimbo Ademoye, Tina Mba, Femi Jacobs, and Kevin Ikeduba, amongst others.
- Love in a Pandemic
“Love in a Pandemic,” a love story set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, was released on February 10, 2023. The film follows the narrative of Bolanle, who encounters Alex, the man of her dreams, amidst one of the most unforgettable periods in human history. The story explores how their newfound love weathers the uncertainties of a pandemic.
Directed by Akay Ilozobhie and written by Amaka Chidioka and Abosi Ogba, the movie stars Timini Egbuson, Nancy Isime, Femi Ajase, Harriet Akinola, Teniola Aladese, Eso Dike, Taiwo Familoni, and others.
Produced by Kemepade Bedford and Vincent Eseni.
“Lugard,” a 2021 Nigerian action movie, unfolds the story of an intelligent university student who is reluctantly drawn into cultism due to his talent. The narrative takes a complex turn when his initial assignment results in the death of the rival gang’s leader, compelling him to navigate the challenges of balancing his life and studies throughout the film.
Written by Laduba Quadri Qidad and Segun Akejeje, the movie was directed by Tunde Olaoye and produced by Hakeem Olageshin.
The film boasts a notable cast, including Gabriel Afolayan, Kehinde Bankole, Debo Macaroni, Omowunmi Dada, Adeniyi Johnson, Chinyere Wilfred, Nobert Young, Zack Orji, and Kalu Ikeagwu.
In this 2018 intense thriller, “Dozie Nnamani,” a loving father, grapples with the challenges of being a single parent after the passing of his wife. Forced into extreme circumstances, Dozie discovers the depths of a father’s desperation when his only child becomes the lure for him to join a notorious gang led by the ruthless Nicholas Katanga, who sees everyone as expendable.
As the plot unfolds, Dozie must navigate the perilous waters of staying ahead of both Nicholas Katanga and the relentless police pursuit. The thriller delves into the psychological toll as Dozie strives to prevent violence from consuming him.
The cast includes notable actors such as Wole Ojo, Sam Dede, Kiki Omeili, Timini Egbuson, Bimbo Ademoye, Olakunle Fawole, and more, bringing depth and intensity to the narrative.
- Raised Apart
A dual role in a movie occurs when an actor adeptly portrays more than two characters, often in the context of playing twins. “Raised Apart” breaks new ground in exploring this technique.
In the realm of Nigerian filmmaking, dual movie roles are often approached cautiously, but “Raised Apart” daringly challenges this tradition.
Cast: Bovi Ugboma, Ireti Doyle, Chioma Omeruah, Gbenga Titiloye, Afeez Oyetoro, Afolsbi Adeyami, Amaechi Muonagor, and Udoka Oyeka.
Directed by Oliver Iorkase, the film immerses audiences in the mesmerizing world of dual roles in a way that is truly captivating.
The fact that 70% of the films on this list had theatrical releases before being licensed by the streaming platform suggests a significant shift in the industry, highlighting the potential success of a dual release strategy involving both cinemas and streaming services.
A noteworthy development is Prime Video’s foray into African original content with Jade Osiberu’s “Gangs of Lagos,” which not only secured a prominent position on the streaming charts but also marked a significant milestone for Amazon Prime Video. It’s particularly striking that Jade Osiberu played a substantial role, producing three out of the ten films on the top list: “Gangs of Lagos,” “Brotherhood,” and “The Trade.”
The exclusive deal between Jade Osiberu and the streaming platform opens up intriguing possibilities for the future, signaling a potential trend where filmmakers enter exclusive partnerships with streaming services. This dynamic shift could reshape how content is created, distributed, and consumed in the Nigerian film. industry. The success of these collaborations could pave the way for more opportunities and innovations within the African filmmaking landscape.