Nollywood was the second largest film industry in terms of output and the third largest in terms of overall revenues generated in 2013. Its history dates back to as early as the late 19th century and into the colonial era in the early 20th century. The history and development of the Nigerian motion picture industry is sometimes generally classified in four main eras: the Colonial era, Golden Age, Video film era and the emerging New Nigerian Cinema.
Nollywood is largely separate from dominant global cultural industry networks of production inputs and distribution, it is an industry that is still globally linked in a number of ways.
In a BusinessDay report, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) MD, Robert Orya was reported to have said Nollywood generated close to 126.4 billion Naira ($800 million) revenue from 2010 till date.
According to the report, the global film and entertainment industry generated about 14.3 trillion Naira ($90.6billion) revenue in 2010 which increased to 16.2 trillion Naira ($102.7 billion) in 2012.
Orya, speaking on global entertainment industry revenue generation, said most of the revenue channels come from “theatrical distribution,” with North America accounting for the largest market share of about 40 percent. Africa, Europe and Middle East make up for 24 percent, Latin America, 20 percent and Asia Pacific accounting for a meager three percent contribution. With an average production of over 2,500 movies per year– 2,408, 2,514 and 2,621 in 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively, Nigeria ranks as Africa’s largest producer. Bollywood on the other hand churns out an average of 800 movies yearly.
Nigerian films started dominating screens across the African continent and by extension, the Caribbeans and the rest of the diaspora, with the films significantly influencing cultures, and the film actors becoming household names across the continent. Since the mid-2000s, Nigerian cinema has undergone some restructuring to promote quality and professionalism, with The Figurine (2009) widely regarded as marking the major turn around of contemporary Nigerian cinema. There has since been a resurgence in the proliferation of cinema establishments, and a steady return of the cinema culture in Nigeria. A healthy sign of that reemergence was the 2016 film The Wedding Party, directed by Kemi Adetiba, becoming the highest grossing Nollywood film of all time.