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‘Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti’ rakes In ₦71M at Box Office



'Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti' rakes In ₦71M at Box Office

‘Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti’ rakes In ₦71M at Box Office

The highly anticipated Nollywood biopic, ‘Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti’, directed and produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters, has achieved a remarkable box office debut, grossing ₦71 million in its opening weekend. The impressive earnings were announced by FilmOne, a leading Nigerian distribution and production company focused on film content, via their Instagram page on Monday, May 27, 2024.

“Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti hit it big last weekend! 🙌 This movie has amassed over 71 million Naira at the box office. Thank you, Nigeria for showing love and support for this iconic movie. Let’s keep it going,” FilmOne wrote in their celebratory post.

This early success highlights the strong demand among Nigerian audiences for films that are both educational and entertaining, dispelling the myth that movies with serious themes cannot succeed in local cinemas.

A Tribute to an Iconic Figure

The film *Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti* chronicles the life of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the mother of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. It captures her journey from being the first female pupil at Abeokuta Grammar School to her marriage with Israel Ransome-Kuti, and her fierce opposition to social injustices. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a pioneering activist who founded the Abeokuta Women’s Union, leading a formidable movement against traditional and colonial authorities in the quest for justice and fairness.

Stellar Cast and Acclaimed Screenings

The biopic features an ensemble cast including Omowunmi Dada, Joke Silva, Kehinde Bankole, Adunni Ade, Iyimide Ayo-Olumoko, Ibrahim Suleiman, and Iremide Adeoye. The film first garnered attention at the 12th edition of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in 2023, where it won accolades for Best Overall Feature Film and Best Screenplay. More recently, it received the award for Best Writing at the 2024 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA).

Audience Reception and Cultural Impact

The enthusiastic reception of *Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti* underscores a broader cultural shift, indicating that Nigerian audiences are eager for stories that celebrate historical figures and address significant social issues. The film’s success is a testament to the audience’s growing appetite for content that is rich in cultural heritage and historical significance.

Film critic Ayo Balogun noted, “The success of *Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti* at the box office reflects a growing appreciation for films that delve into our history and highlight the struggles and triumphs of our heroes. It’s a positive sign for the future of Nollywood and the kinds of stories we can tell.”

The Future of Historical Biopics in Nollywood

The success of *Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti* could pave the way for more historical biopics in Nollywood, encouraging filmmakers to explore and dramatize the lives of other notable figures in Nigerian and African history. This genre has the potential to educate and inspire while providing entertainment, thereby enriching the cultural tapestry of the Nigerian film industry.

Continuing the Momentum

As *Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti* continues to dominate cinemas, industry watchers are keen to see how it performs in the coming weeks. The film’s strong opening suggests it could enjoy sustained success, potentially setting new benchmarks for Nollywood biopics.

Bolanle Austen-Peters expressed her gratitude to the audience and cast in a recent interview, stating, “I am overwhelmed by the positive reception of the film. It’s a story that needed to be told, and I’m grateful to everyone who has supported it. This is just the beginning; there are many more stories out there that deserve to be told.”

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