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Nollywood Crowns “Beasts of Two Worlds” King of Nigerian Box Office with Historic ₦63.2M Opening Weekend

The Odunlade Adekola epic had the biggest Nollywood debut of 2024 and set new records, while Hollywood’s ”Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire“ also flexed its monster muscle with a ₦49.5M launch.
April 2, 2024
1:51 pm
Beast of two worlds

The Nigerian box office experienced a clash of the titans over the Easter weekend as a homegrown Nollywood spectacle and a Hollywood heavyweight kaiju battle captured audiences nationwide. When the dust settled, the verdict was clear – “Beasts of Two Worlds (Ajakaju)” reigned supreme.


The Yoruba language epic from director duo Odunlade Adekola and Adebayo Tijani stunningly amassed ₦63.2 million over its opening weekend. That jaw-dropping haul made “Beasts of Two Worlds” an instant record-breaker on multiple fronts.


Not only did it score 2024’s biggest Nollywood debut so far, but it now ranks as the 4th highest-opening weekend ever for a Nigerian film. Only bona fide blockbusters like “A Tribe Called Judah” (₦113.2M), “Omo Ghetto: The Saga” (₦99.8M) and “The Wedding Party 2” (₦65.6M) have had bigger box office launches.


The stellar numbers set new benchmarks on two other fronts. “Beasts of Two Worlds” now holds the record for the most successful Easter weekend premiere in Nollywood history. It also marked a milestone debut for producer Eniola Ajao as the largest opening ever for a first-time producer in Nigerian cinemas.


After a ₦16 million opening day, the star-studded “Beasts of Two Worlds” didn’t let up. An elated Ajao took to Instagram to thank audiences, writing, “Nigerians showed up and showed out!…we asked you to show your support and you outdid yourselves. Thank you for this loving masterpiece that we created.”


Ajao stars alongside a who’s who of Yoruba cinema royalty that includes Adekola, Sola Sobowale, Femi Adebayo, Lateef Adedimeji, Mercy Aigbe, Bimbo Akintola, Fathia Balogun, Ibrahim Chatta, Peju Ogunmola and Olayode Juliana. The sprawling drama depicts a desperate king (Adekola) who takes extreme measures to produce a male heir by introducing a new wife (Ajao), sparking an epic power struggle.


While “Beasts of Two Worlds” conquered the Nigerian box office, it wasn’t the only film flexing massive numbers. The sci-fi action blockbuster “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” showed its own monster-sized might.


Godzilla x Kong

The Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures sequel roared to a ₦49.5 million debut, matching its $80 million domestic opening in the U.S. Globally, “Godzilla x Kong” demolishing the competition with a staggering $194 million start – the biggest worldwide opening of 2024 so far.


Directed by Michael Dougherty, the MonsterVerse epic stars Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens and Kaylee Hottle in a tale that sees the iconic kaiju behemoths Godzilla and King Kong shelving their differences to combat an even greater threat to humanity.


With two universally appealing heavyweights leading the charts and no other major releases on the immediate horizon, “Beasts of Two Worlds” and “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” are virtually guaranteed to continue their box office dominance in Nigeria over the coming weeks.


After making history with its Easter weekend performance, the question now is just how far “Beasts of Two Worlds” can climb on the all-time Nollywood charts. If buzz and attendance remain deafening, it could eventually threaten recent record-setters like “Omo Ghetto: The Saga’s” ₦636 million total.


For now, producers, exhibitors and fans can simply revel in back-to-back box office behemoths proving the continued cultural and commercial potency of local Nigerian cinema alongside Hollywood’s biggest spectacles.


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