FilmOne Entertainment, a Lagos-based independent theatrical distributor, has signed an exclusive theatrical distribution agreement with the Walt Disney Company Africa. It’s the first of it’s kind. The agreement will gave FilmOne the exclusive right to distribute Disney films in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia.
Under the new deal, FilmOne will distribute titles from all of the Walt Disney Studios divisions, which include Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures and Blue Sky Pictures.
The deal came at a time when fans have been starved of theatrical releases of Disney films due to Covid-19 which led to a shutdown of cinemas. Cinemas were badly hit by the pandemic, they recorded an N8 billion revenue loss. But as restrictions have been eased and cinemas in Lagos have reopened, cinemas goers can anticipate the release of Disney films such as ‘Mulan’, ‘The New Mutants’, ‘The King’s Man’, ‘Death on the Nile’, ‘Black Widow’, ‘Soul’, ‘Free Guy’, and ‘The Last Duel and Eternals’.
The agreement, which took place effective from September 1, indicated the growing interest in the African film market, particularly Nollywood which is reputed as the number one film industry in the continent. Walt Disney Company Africa is one of such international companies that are committed to forming partnerships in the West African region.
Directors of FimOne, Kene Okwuosa, Moses Babatope and Craig Shurn jointly said in a statement;
“We are proud to be Disney’s film distribution partner for West Africa and see this as the beginning of an exciting new chapter for both companies in the region. Our expertise and knowledge of the market, coupled with the unrivalled quality of Disney’s titles, will drive box-office growth for many years to come,”
The Walt Disney Studios is an American film and entertainment studio, and one of the four business segments of The Walt Disney Company. Based in Burbank, California, the studio is best known for its multi-faceted film divisions. Founded in 1923, it is the fourth-oldest and one of the “Big Five” major film studios.Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures distributes and markets the films produced by these studios. In 2019, Disney posted an industry record of $13.2 billion at the global box office. The studio has released six of the top ten highest grossing films of all time worldwide, and the two highest-grossing film franchises of all time. The Walt Disney Studios is a member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).
The Senior Vice-President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa, Christine Service, added that: “With their in-depth knowledge of the region and expertise in bringing theatrical releases to fans, we are thrilled to welcome FilmOne as our distribution partner for this territory.”
With this new deal, FilmOne is taking its place as the foremost independent distributor of theatrical content in anglophone West Africa and largest distributor of premium Nigerian cinematic films in the world. Their partnership with Disney Africa adds to a list of high-profile relationships with industry leaders such as Warner Brothers, Netflix, Empire Entertainment (South Africa) and Huahua (China).
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