Why we reject horror movies in Nigerian cinemas – exhibitors

On Sunday, the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) outlined the technical specifications that must be met before a cinema could showcase a movie across the nation.

The National Chairman of CEAN, Patrick Lee, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.

Mr Lee said that the technical specifications had to do with the quality of sound, picture production, subtitling, content, the storyline of the movies, and more.

He noted that any movie that would be exhibited in any cinema must have good sound and picture quality, a beautiful storyline, and the sub-titling must be meticulously done.

According to him, the Bollywood and Hollywood movies usually meet the technical specifications with good quality pictures and sounds, adding that currently, more Nollywood movies were also meeting those specifications.

“We give out the list of the technical specifications, which has to do with Nollywood, Bollywood, and Hollywood movies to the public and movie producers.

“Netflix uses the same standard that we use, and DSTV is also improving on their standards.

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“When the technical specifications are met, then we look at the storyline, content, actors that are featured, and more,” he said.

Mr Lee noted that the content of a movie to be showcased in cinemas must also support the rules and regulations of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).

According to him, movies that contain homosexual content, smoking, or drugs, which are against the nation’s rules, are not acceptable.

“In selecting movies to be shown in cinemas, we take into consideration the rules and regulations that operate in the country, within the purview of the NFVCB.

“We reject horror movies because they don’t sell, unlike the romantic comedy and action movies, that are highly marketable, so the type of movie also matters.

“Not all movies are meant for the cinemas. Some are for television, while some others are for streaming platforms.

“In all selection, we are mindful of the regulations that guide the censors’ board. If any movie goes against the dictates of the board, we don’t accept such movies,” he said.

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Mr Lee further stated that cinemas across the nation had been very strategic with the kind of movies to be shown because of the limited number of screens available.

He explained that Nigeria should not be compared with the United Kingdom, which has over 4,000 screens against Nigeria’s 300 screens.

He said Nigeria does not accept all Hollywood movies released because they are not commercially viable in cinemas due to weak content.

“There is colossal content coming from Bollywood, but it has a small market here in Nigeria. The market is specific to some regions where the Indian communities are present.

“Such is Ibadan in Oyo and Victoria Island and Lekki areas of Lagos. There, we have the Indians, usually coming out to support their movies,” he said.

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