Top 10 Most Popular Nollywood Movies of All Time

top 10 most popular nollywood movies of all time

From Egg of Life to The Wedding Party, check out the top 10 most popular Nollywood movies of all time.

Since the Nigerian film industry got tagged as Nollywood in 2002, there’s been this unspoken pressure for filmmakers and producers to live up to and compete with the other two giant industries; Bollywood and Hollywood.

Now to say we have lived up to the weight it brings is undoubted, however, in terms of quality of production, that’s a story for another day (one I have already covered in Bollywood vs Hollywood vs Nollywood). But regardless, over the years, the industry has treated us to great spectacles, awesome productions and the kind of films that even international audiences are demanding for.

So today, I’ll count down the top 10 most popular Nollywood movies of all time. Please bear in mind that this list has very little to do with box-office earnings and more to do with the number of Nigerians that have either watched the movie or at least heard about it, regardless of the generation they are born in. This list also doubles as a film recommendation list for people looking for popular Nigerian movies to watch.

10. Lionheart

Lionheart is an easy fix on this list and for good reason. The fact that it is the first Netflix Original Nollywood movie says a lot and is one that had many Nigerians and even international audiences wanting to watch the movie because they wanted to find out what made Netflix choose the movie as its flagship original in Nollywood. And from my review of Lionheart, you’d see why.

9. A Trip to Jamaica

Ayo Makun went from being the regular stand-up comedian to acting in short skits and then making movies of his own. A Trip to Jamaica is one of such movies and is the first movie to gross over N100 million at the Nollywood box-office. The story is a comedy movie with a little drama and action twist that culminates into a beautiful production one can’t help but love. To say that this movie isn’t popular would be a serious disservice to the industry.

<<READ ALSO – 10 Places To Stream and Download Nollywood Movies Online>>

8. Karashika

Every time I hear the name Karashika, I shiver a little because it is one movie that scarred me and many 90s and early 2000s kids growing up. The horror movie rings a bell in almost every Nigerian because they can’t help but remember the phrase “Karashika Karashika, Queen of demons.” I just shivered twice now.

7. Issakaba

Issakaba is that action movie that changed the game for a while in Nollywood, and Sam Dede was really in his element here. The movie followed the story of vigilante group Isakaba, who took matters into their own hands to wipe crime off the face of the state. Using nothing but their wits, cutlasses, armour, and a little extra something something, th movie became a very successful franchise for a really long time, especially when one remembers that in that era, we had to rent the CDs to watch the movies.

6. Jenifa

Funke Akindele had been in the industry for a while, but the movie that stamped her name in Nollywood, as well as became a serious pop-culture movement in Nigeria was Jenifa. The movie grew so popular, that it got developed into a series and now has a spin-off called Aiyetoro Town. Asides all that, Jenifa influenced youths to start speaking and dressing like her, which was quite hilarious, to say the least.

<<SEE ALSO – 5 Important Things I Wish Nollywood Movies Can Start Doing>>

5. The Figurine

Kunle Afolayan’s The Figurine is the movie that birthed the now popular “New Nollywood era”, so it’s only fitting that it comes in at number five on this list (smack down the middle). Anyone who remembers The Figurine will remember it as the movie that deserved to have been watched in the cinemas, and many industry analysts say that it’s the movie that also inspired many producers to start making more cinema-worthy productions and leave home videos behind.

4. King of Boys

Kemi Adetiba is still a crazy genius for this movie. For people to sit down for three hours to watch a movie that isn’t a superhero or fantasy movie like Avengers Endgame and The Lord of The Rings, is an achievement in its own right. King of Boys is a movie that changed the already changed game with its amazing storyline, production and cast. It’s no surprise why many Nigerians watched, enjoyed, know it, and are eagerly anticipating the sequel.

3. Osuofia in London

Nkem Owoh no doubt owned the comedy scene in Nollywood for a really long while with this movie and its sequel. Osuofia in London is one movie that is deserving of third position (if not number 1) and the reason being that, till date, most people don’t recognise Nkem Owoh as himself until you mention Osofia, then they’ll know who you are talking about.

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2. The Wedding Party

I know I said that the list will have little to do with box-office gross, but I will be lying if I said that it didn’t matter at all, as The Wedding Party’s sequel is the highest-grossing Nollywood movie of all time, raking in N550 million, while the prequel sits pretty at second position with an estimated N450 million gross. For your movie to hit such numbers in the country, it says how popular it must have been during the screening periods in cinemas nationwide, and the heavy marketing EbonyLife also did for the movies too is a factor. Up till now, you can’t mention The Wedding Party and the majority of the people in a gathering wouldn’t know it.

[Honourable mentionsPam Pam, Stolen Bible, Igodo, Full Moon, Nneka The Pretty Serpent, Girls Cot, October 1, Chief Daddy, Diamond Ring, Egg of Life, Captives of the Mighty, Chukwudi and Chukwuma, Ije, The CEO, Living in Bondage, Wives on Strike.]

1. Aki and PawPaw

Aki and Pawpaw stand at number one for many reasons, but the three most important ones are; 1) This movie cascaded into a lot of movies with the same two actors bearing different names, and they were all successful. 2) Most people don’t even know their real names are Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme, they only know them as Aki and Pawpaw respectively. 3) Since its initial release in 2003 till date, scenes from the movie has trended over time and is still trending at the moment, being used as memes both in the country and all over the world on social media by top brands.

To say the least, Aki and PawPaw is the most popular Nollywood movie of all time and I doubt this will change anytime soon.

So what did you think of the list, is there any movie you think should have been added or removed, or do you think the hierarchy isn’t done properly? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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