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Dwindling Box Office: Tyler Perry’s Madea Movies

Tyler Perry Madea movie Witness Protection
Tyler Perry Madea movie 5: Madea’s Witness Protection

Tyler Perry Madea movie box office. Trailing Seth MacFarlane / Mark Wahlberg’s Ted, Steven Soderbergh / Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike, and Disney / Pixar’s Brave this weekend at the North American box office was the latest Tyler Perry Madea movie: Madea’s Witness Protection. Tyler Perry in drag brought in an estimated $26.35 million at 2,161 locations, or $12,193 per theater. That’s approximately what box office pundits had been expecting last week, and about $4 million less than early Friday estimates indicated. [See also: Seth MacFarlane’s TED movie box office and Matt Bomer / MAGIC MIKE box office.]

Box-office comparison: Tyler Perry Madea movies

For comparison’s sake: according to figures found at Box Office Mojo, Madea’s Big Happy Family debuted with $25.06 million in April 2011, averaging $10,957 per site. Madea’s Family Reunion (2006) and Madea Goes to Jail (2009) opened (in February) with, respectively, $30m and $41 million — or about $36 million and $43 million today. Perry’s first Madea movie, Diary of a Mad Black Woman (directed by Darren Grant), opened with $21.95 million in 2005 (about $27 million in 2012).

Except for Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which opened at 1,483 locations, the other previous Tyler Perry Madea movies were released at approximately the same number of theaters as Madea’s Witness Protection. Madea’s Family Reunion averaged $13,687 per venue (approx. $16,500 today), while Madea Goes to Jail’s average was $20,192 (approx. $21,000 today). Diary of a Mad Black Woman’s average was $14,770 (about $18,000 today).

Even the non-Madea Perry comedy Why Did I Get Married Too, which opened on Easter weekend 2010, had a stronger debut than Perry’s last two Madea movies. Why Did I Get Married Too raked in $29.28 million at 2,155 theaters, averaging $13,591 per site.

Madea movie budgets still modest, but higher than in the past

Something else worth noting: Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion had tiny $5.5m-6 million budgets, while Madea Goes to Jail cost a reported $17.5m. Madea’s Big Happy Family was the most expensive of Perry’s four Madea movies: $25m. Madea’s Witness Protection is next in line, having cost a reported $20m.

Undoubtedly, Madea’s Witness Protection will manage to recover its modest production costs at the box office even though Tyler Perry’s movies tend to plummet after their first weekend out (on average, 60 percent) and they have no following overseas.

In fact, like most other Tyler Perry films, this latest Madea entry has already managed to surpass its budget on its debut weekend at the North American box office.

Even so, barring a miraculous resurgence, perhaps it’s time for Tyler Perry / Madea to put away her oversized tacky glasses and equally oversized fake boobs.

Written and directed by Tyler Perry, Madea’s Witness Protection features Eugene Levy, Denise Richards, Doris Roberts, Romeo Miller, Tom Arnold, John Amos, Marla Gibbs, Danielle Campbell, Devon Leos, and Shayne Anderson.

Tyler Perry Madea movie Madea’s Witness Protection picture: Lionsgate.

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