Half of a Yellow Sun charts its course

Kelikume Oliseh

When Biyi Bandele directed one of Nigeria’s biggest movie Half of a Yellow Sun (HOAYS), it was unexpected that a movie based on Nigerian’s history would not be premiered in its own country. A couple of months after being premiered and still showing in other cities and countries, it is yet to be approved by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).

This movie is based on a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Synopsis) – In the movie, Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (John Boyega) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises even herself when she falls in love with Richard (Joseph Mawle), an English writer. Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life seem to loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire world.

A sweeping romantic drama, Half of a Yellow Sun takes the sisters and their lovers on a journey through the war which is powerful, intensely emotional and, as the response of readers around the world has shown, it is a story which can touch everyone’s heart. It was first shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8, 2013.

With a budget of $10m, let us see how HOAYS is doing:

The second chart below shows how many theaters HOAYS has been shown in, in the past six weeks; its ranking and, also how much has been made averagely every week (in dollars).


Weekly Box Office Figures – Taken from Friday through Thursday (Most movies are released on a Friday).

Weekend Box Office – Box office receipts from Friday through Sunday (The weekend box office for the initial week of release, or opening weekend is often widely reported).

Theaters – Thee number of theaters in which the movie is showing. A single theater may show a movie on multiple screens, the total number of screens is used as another measure. The theaters measure is used to determine whether a movie is in wide release, meaning at least 600 theaters, or limited release which is less than 600 theaters.