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Silverbird Cinemas, Kunle Afolayan In Messy War Over Exorbitant Percentage Cut

Source: Osaremen Ehi James/Nigeriafilms.com
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Just few months after a movie producer engaged it over an alleged scam, Silverbird Cinemas, Victoria Island, Lagos might be in another battle with another popular Nigerian filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan.

According to information gathered, Kunle Afolayan, has decided to go tough with some cinema operators in the country over high percentage charged by them on movies shown in their cinemas. Kunle also alleged that most cinema operators in Nigeria are killing the movie industry with the high percentage they now charge for movies shown at their cinemas.

Nollywoodgists.com gathered that Kunle decided to hit hard on the big screens investors because according to him, cinema operators now collect as high as 70 percent of gross profit on movies shown at their cinemas while movie owners take 30 percent.

Nollywoodgists.com contacted Kunle on phone to confirm the story, which he said was true. He however told Nollywoodgists.com that consultations were going on in reaching a compromise on the matter.

When Nollywoodgists.com contacted Ozone Cinemas about the matter, the General Manager, Patrick Lee told Nollywoodgists.com that his cinema does not charge that high as claimed by Kunle.

He gave Nollywoodgists.com a breakdown of how he charges filmmakers on their movies shown at his cinema. According to Lee, Ozone takes 50 percent of the gross profit for the first week a movie is shown at the cinema, 55 percent from second week, while 60 is charged from the third week upward.

An investigation made by Nollywoodgists.com on Genesis Cinemas at Lekki reveals that the cinema runs a flat 50 percent from the gross profit between the cinema and movie producers from the first week to when it stops showing at the cinema.

On the part of Silverbird Cinemas, a source, who begged for anonymity told Nollywoodgists.com that Silverbird Cinemas charges 50 percent in the first week, 55 percent from the second week, from the third week, it charges 60 percent, 65 percent from the fourth week while it charges 70 percent from the fifth week upwards.

According to what the anonymous source told Nollywoodgists.com, most Nigerian movie producers are always told these terms before putting pen to paper. He wondered why somebody like Kunle Afolayan would lay such claims on them.

The source said some filmmakers like Kunle believe cinema operators should dance to the tunes of movie producers. In the new charges arrangement shown to Nollywoodgists.com, cinema operators now charge 50 percent for the first two weeks, which is not the same for foreign movies.

This new charges, we were told took effect two weeks ago.

Nollywoodgists.com contacted some filmmakers on this issue. According to Blessing Egbe, the producer of Two Brides and a Baby, she claimed that Silverbird shows the big-boy character. She wondered why they claim to support Nollywood when they actually are not, especially with their exorbitant charges.

She told Nollywoodgists.com that only Silverbird Cinemas charged 70 percent of the gross profit from her movie.

Another filmmaker, Tunke Kelani told Nollywoodgists.com that the charges depends on the contract and bargaining power of the producer involved. According to him, he was charged 50 percent for the first week, 55 percent for the second week while 60 percent was charged from the third week up when his movie, Maami was shown at Silverbird Cinemas.

The movie industry in Nigeria has received a massive boost since the reintroduction of the cinema culture in Nigeria. Most good producers now go for cinema movies as against the home video movies.

With this, what awaits the fast growing make-believe profession?

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