You know, this column is supposed to be called The Reject Report, but you might want to call it “WTF” after this weekend, because that’s going to be the reaction people have to the amount of money Tyler Perry hauled in this weekend. Madea Goes to Jail made $41 million this weekend at the domestic box office.
Let me repeat that for you. Madea Goes to Jail made $41 million dollars this weekend.
All together now, in unison… “WTF?”
What the heck is going on with the box office? I mean, I’m not surprised that a Tyler Perry movie did well at the box office. I’m not surprised it finished in first place; I had predicted it to finish first. I wouldn’t even have been shocked with a haul of $30 or $35 million dollars. But $41 million dollars, for a movie that was only shown on 2,000 screens? Give me a @#$% break — aren’t people sick of Tyler Perry? In fact, plenty of people had been saying they were sick and tired of Tyler Perry movies.
I was going to all these movie websites and there was literally no buzz for this flick out there. Instead, everyone was talking about Slumdog Millionaire and these Oscar contenders all this week. No one really cared about Tyler Perry or, for that matter, any of the other new movies that rolled out this weekend (least of all Fired Up!). Yet Perry’s latest flick is a hit on the same scale as Friday the 13th was last weekend. Madea did $14.7 million in business on Friday alone. Its per-screen average haul this weekend was an astounding $20,236. Talk about a movie that snuck up on people.
In fact, this was the biggest opening weekend ever for a release from Lionsgate, topping the $33.6 million haul for Saw III — in the midst of a raging recession, too. Keep in mind Lionsgate also had a hit with My Bloody Valentine 3-D. One wonders if these hits might be coming too late for the studio, though; they have been losing all kinds of money as of late.
It’s weekends like this when I wonder whether these multiplexes have raised their admission prices again. Really, we have had some bizarre results at the box office this year, when you think of it. (I’m thinking of Paul Blart in particular.) And it’s not as if people have been dying to see any of these movies. I haven’t heard a groundswell of people saying “hey, they should make another Kevin James flick,” let alone another “Tyler Perry” flick. I can understand the popularity of these hit horror movies a little more — there had been a dearth of horror movies at theaters, and we are living in genuinely scary times. So there was a pent-up demand for those. But for this?
My only theory about Tyler Perry’s continued popularity is that it’s probably entirely due to the African-Americans who flock to his movies in droves. Let’s face it, there’s not very much for African-American audiences to begin with, so maybe there is a pent-up demand for what Perry is doing. He’s striking a chord with his audiences, no question about it, but it sure seems like it is more of a cult following. A big cult following. Anyway, it doesn’t matter what it is Tyler Perry serves up –people will always go see it. That is why I am always hesitant to underestimate Tyler Perry’s ability to win at the box office. Still, I go ahead and underestimate him anyway. Let that be a lesson to me and to all box-office prognosticators, all of whom look like fools after this weekend. Again.
Taking a big bath this weekend was the stinkbomb that was Fired Up! Anything looks like a hit compared to this turkey. It finished in ninth place with a haul of $6 million. Then again, no one expected much anyway — most everyone thought this was going to be a total piece of junk.
As for Friday the 13th, it has been dropping like a rock all this week. Now, finally, Jason has gone straight to the box-office grave with a haul of $7.8 million for a dismal sixth place showing. That is a steep drop, folks. It’s a far cry from the $43 million made during the four-day President’s Day weekend. I guess everyone who wanted to see it has already seen it.
As for Taken, its $11.4 million haul puts it at $95,153,000 in domestic box office. It should be past $100 million next weekend. And Coraline kleeps on doing consistent business at $11 million.
- Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail $41,120,000
- Taken $11,400,000
- Coraline $11,031,000
- He’s Just Not That Into You $8,540,000
- Slumdog Millionaire $8,050,000
- Friday the 13th (2009) $7,825,000
- Confessions of a Shopaholic $7,019,000
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop $7,000,000
- Fired Up $6,000,000
- The International $4,450,000
Since the Oscars are on the minds of a lot of people: here are the overall domestic box-office grosses (as of Sunday) of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture or have prominent acting nominees:
- Slumdog Millionaire $98 million
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button $124 million
- Milk $28 million
- Frost/Nixon $17 million
- The Reader $23 million
- The Wrestler $21 million
- Doubt $31 million
- Rachel Getting Married $12.3 million
That’s most of the movies people have been ranting and raving about, although I am sure I left some out. Hmm, what did I leave out? Oh yeah — The Dark Knight. What? It didn’t get nominated for Best Picture? Or Best Director?
Anyhow, The Dark Knight set a milestone on Friday. It finally passed the elusive $1 billion dollar mark for its worldwide box office. This puts The Dark Knight up there with Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest as a billion-dollar hit movie. Way to go.
That is all for this weekend. This coming week, The Reject Report will be putting on the 3-D glasses to preview the Jonas Brothers and their new movie. Until next time, don’t bet on the movies.