In summary, Ms. Oduok doesn't believe that investing in more cinemas (or movie theatres for U.S folks) is the key to resolving Nollywood's distribution problem. One of her qualms is that the existing cinemas are heavily pushing Hollywood content to the consumers. [Afro Leo thinks: "Unfortunate, maybe that's where the money is."]
Indeed, mobile technology is booming across Africa and new ways (e.g. here and here) to distribute content are emerging (or even evolving). We also know about the widely-publicised problems such as poor infrastructure (and here). [See Tim Katlic's oAfrica for an A-Z guide]
Based on available online evidence, this Leo can agree that Hollywood content is currently enjoying the
Afro Leo is wondering: Would it be fair to include a condition, in the agreement with a cinema operator in receipt of public funds, which requires the operator to screen a minimum number of Nollywood films? This Leo is not entirely sure if this is feasible, not least, because the consumer is king. [The UK (here and here) is not that far off from what this Leo has in mind - though theirs are grants] However, he is aware that Nigeria already operates a regime, in its oil and gas sector, commonly referred to as local content; perhaps, that could form the blueprint for any such policy seeking to advance the best interests of Nollywood. [Afro Leo couldn't just resist to add that it should be evidence-based policymaking]
More questions than answers....
(1) How can Nollywood or policymakers properly encourage people away from DVDs to viewing in cinemas? Would this help, in any way, in the fight against piracy? [Afro Leo tells us to spare a thought for the internationally acclaimed movie, Half of a Yellow Sun - yet to be released in Nigeria. Happy pirates!]
(2) If the industry and policymakers decide to back the common model seen in developed countries, would this not affect millions who cannot afford a cinema ticket? [Afro Leo scratching his head, thinking: "Surely, this would lead to more demand for pirated copies; how can Nollywood abandon the model that made it famous?"]
(3) Is it that the majority of Nollywood films lack the quality or compatibility for cinema releases?
One can easily see that there are difficult decisions to be made here and that this is not helped by the fact that film piracy is here to stay. Time to think outside the box?
Anyway, if the above observation (i.e. that Hollywood is having the lion share) is factual, then it looks like the public funding schemes might not be all that helpful in addressing Nollywood's biggest problem: distribution.
Nollywood rated third globally in revenue earnings, says NEXIM Bank MD, here, but how did it come up with that?