I admit it: I never see Tyler Perry coming. The writer/director who has watched six of his eight feature films open at number one at the domestic box office always sneaks up on me somehow. So while I was busy watching “Inglourious Basterds” crawl past $100 million this week, Perry’s latest Madea-melodrama had an unchallenged run at the top spot once again. Meanwhile, other new releases like the Kate Beckinsale thriller “Whiteout” had less success finding a fanbase, leaving “I Can Do Bad” to rack up $24 million for Perry’s third-highest opening to date.
|1||I Can Do Bad||$24,000,000||$24,000,000|
|4||All About Steve||$5,800,000||$21,812,000|
|9||Julie & Julia||$3,300,000||$85,360,000|
Even if you don’t really get the whole Tyler Perry phenomenon, you’ve got to give it up to the man for knowing what his audience wants. And for working his ass off. It may feel like Perry has been around for years and years (based upon his creative output at least) but it was not until 2005 that Lionsgate released his first Madea feature, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”. Since then Perry has averaged about two films a year for the studio in addition to his TV shows, plays and appearances in films like JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek”.
“I Can Do Bad All By Myself” had the widest release yet for a Perry film at 2,255 locations but ended up trailing his two biggest hits, February’s “Madea Goes to Jail” ($41 million) and 2006’s “Madea’s Family Reunion” ($30 million) in terms of weekend grosses. “Bad” did post significantly higher than “The Family That Preys” ($17.4 million) which opened at number two on this same weekend back in 2008.
As I mentioned yesterday, the Tim Burton/Timon Bekmambetov-produced, animated feature “9” got an early jump on Tyler Perry by releasing on Wednesday. But even with that $4.4 million head start “9” couldn’t catch up – ending its first weekend at number two. The fact that the film opened in 1,000 fewer locations may have had something to do that; not to mention the real problem that people didn’t know what to make of this ‘adult’ animated film. Reviews on “9” have been mixed (56% on Rotten Tomatoes) and with Sony’s kid-centric 3D toon “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” headed for release next week, I wouldn’t count on “9” remaining in the top ten for much longer.
If the reviews on “9” were mixed, then the reviews for Warner Brothers’ “Whiteout” were downright atrocious. Many of us noted the record-low Tomato Meter score that “All About Steve” garnered last week (6%) but, at 8% as of today, Kate Beckinsale isn’t faring much better with her new Antarctic-thriller. “Whiteout” had the widest release of the week at 2,745 theatres, but with four new films set to open, “Whiteout” should fade out in a hurry.
And, with any luck, so will the horror film “Sorority Row”. At 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, the week’s fourth new feature actually scared up better reviews than “Whiteout”. But this hollow victory could not translate into box office success – now if only they had had the foresight to shoot this baby in 3D! From its release in 2,665 theatres, Summit Entertainment’s slasher pulled in $5.2 million for an average of $1,970 bucks per screen… not too good when you know that “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” made over $10,000 at each of its locations.
I’ll see you next week when we’ll all get to ogle Megan Fox in “Jennifer’s Body”…