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“All’s Fair in Love”: Deyemi Okanlawon exceeds Box office prediction by 118%

On February 14, 2024, Nollywood’s romantic comedy All’s Fair in Love premiered in cinemas, amassing an impressive N7.6 million in ticket sales on its opening day.

Despite the genre’s relatively modest popularity, the film continued to attract audiences, earning N10.4 million during its advanced screening just two days later.

A statement obtained by Nairametrics highlighted the film’s achievement: it became “the highest-grossing rom-com movie, earning over N10.4 million in just two days.”

This marked Deyemi Okanlawon’s debut as a film producer. Released during the typically slow February Valentine’s season, the film’s success defied expectations.

Historically, films released during this period were projected to make about N60 million. However, All’s Fair in Love, in collaboration with FilmOne and Accelerate TV, achieved an impressive N131,340,915.93, surpassing box office expectations for a love-themed story by 118%.

The film also became the second most-watched Nigerian movie upon its release on Prime Video. Several factors contributed to the film’s performance at the Nigerian box office.

Insights from the Filmmakers

According to executive producer Deyemi Okanlawon, the film’s success against all odds can be attributed to various factors. He emphasized the importance of a compelling plot structure in capturing the audience’s attention.

“The narrative of All’s Fair in Love revolves around the complexities of relationships between two Nigerian business partners and friends, played by Deyemi Okanlawon and Timini Egbuson, who become romantically entangled with the same woman, portrayed by Buhle Samuels,” Okanlawon explained to Nairametrics. “The film broke away from conventional Nollywood storylines, delivering a plot that was both engaging and relatable. Its unique twists and character development resonated deeply with audiences, creating a memorable cinematic experience.”

The film’s visual appeal also played a significant role in its success. The use of cutting-edge technology and techniques ensured that each scene was visually captivating, enhancing the storytelling and drawing audiences into the film’s world.

Another crucial aspect was the film’s casting. “The film’s casting was a masterstroke, featuring A-list Nigerian and South African actors who delivered powerful and authentic performances,” Okanlawon noted. The ensemble cast, including Ireti Doyle, Juliet Ibrahim, Adedimeji Lateef, Beauty Tukura, Venita Akpofure, Kunle Bamtefa, Gbubemi Ejeye, Kenzy Udonsenm, Oprah Okereke, and Timilehin Ojeola, brought their substantial social media followings to cinemas and online platforms, generating significant buzz and contributing to the film’s widespread popularity.

Budget and Marketing Strategy

Based on data gathered by Nairametrics, the budget for the romantic comedy was estimated to be between N150 million and N200 million.

This substantial budget provided the financial resources necessary to bring its concepts to life, both in production and marketing operations.

The marketing strategy for All’s Fair in Love was innovative and effective, leveraging the power of social media influencers to reach a vast audience and generate excitement. “The premiere event, combined with strategic out-of-home (OOH) advertising, ensured maximum visibility and engagement, driving audiences to theatres and online platforms,” another filmmaker stated. “This comprehensive approach heightened awareness and translated into significant box office and online viewership success.”

Partnering with FilmOne, a leading film distribution company, ensured All’s Fair in Love reached a wide audience locally and internationally. The strategic distribution plan maximized the film’s reach and accessibility, significantly contributing to its box office success and online viewership.

Behind the Scenes

The creative team behind the film included Deyemi Okanlawon, who crafted the story and served as an executive producer alongside Moses Babatope, Kene Okwuosa, and Colette Otuesho.

Producers Deyemi Okanlawon and Esse Akwaka handled casting, while Kayode Kasum and Ifeme C.S. directed and served as directors of photography.

The team’s expertise laid the groundwork for the Nollywood rom-com to achieve stellar performance at the Nigerian box office.

Deyemi Okanlawon, a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Lagos, transitioned from a brief stint at the NNPC Kaduna refinery to a decade-long career in sales and marketing. His experience includes roles at Baker’s World, QuikLinx Marketing Solutions (co-founder), Proshare Nigeria, Sales Target (founder), Dealfish Nigeria, and OLX Nigeria.


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