- Madea’s Big Happy Family box office: Despite its more generous budget, Tyler Perry’s latest Madea flick has a far weaker domestic debut than its two predecessors. International prospects are, as always, all but nil.
Madea’s Big Happy Family box office: Tyler Perry is back in drag, but audiences less are interested this time around
April 22–24 weekend box office (cont.): On the heels of Carlos Saldanha’s 3D computer-animated hit Rio ($26.3 million), Tyler Perry’s comedy-drama Madea’s Big Happy Family debuted at a – relatively speaking – disappointing no. 2, grossing $25.1 million ($700,000 below Sunday estimates) from 2,288 North American (U.S. and Canada only) locations according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
That may not seem like a bad debut for this poorly received Lionsgate release with a reported $25 million price tag (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses). In fact, Madea’s Big Happy Family boasted the highest per-venue average among this past weekend’s Top Twelve titles: $10,956. (Next in line was Rio, with $6,851.)
And yet … when you place Tyler Perry’s latest in “historical context,” Madea’s Big Happy Family comes across as both smaller and sadder. And definitely costlier.
Madea’s smaller, sadder return
For comparison’s sake: Tyler Perry’s two previous Madea-centered outings were Madea Goes to Jail and Madea’s Family Reunion. The former opened with $41 million (about $44 million today) from 2,032 venues in February 2009; the latter opened with $30 million (about $37 million today) from 2,194 venues in February 2006.
Even Perry’s non-Madea effort Why Did I Get Married Too, which opened on Easter weekend last year, had a stronger debut than Madea’s Big Happy Family, collecting $29.3 million from 2,155 sites (average: $13,591).
Something else that matters: Madea’s Family Reunion reportedly had a minuscule $6 million budget while Madea Goes to Jail cost $17.5 million.
Lastly, let’s not forget that Tyler Perry movies invariably plummet after opening weekend. Compounding matters, they have no international following.
Madea’s Big Happy Family cast
Besides Tyler Perry, the Madea’s Big Happy Family cast includes Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, David Mann, and Cassi Davis.
Update: Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family ultimately collected $53.3 million domestically and $816,000 internationally. (South Africa is the only territory listed at Box Office Mojo.) Worldwide total: $54.2 million – not quite enough for the comedy-drama to break even at the box office.
Top Six movies: Easter-themed title hops up
Trailing Rio, Madea’s Big Happy Family, and Water for Elephants on this past Easter weekend’s domestic box office chart were the following:
- At no. 4, Tim Hill’s Easter-themed computer-animated fantasy adventure Hop grossed $12.2 million (up 14 percent on its fourth weekend). Cume: $100.2 million. Cast: James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand.
- At no. 5, Wes Craven’s horror thriller Scream 4 grossed $7 million (down an alarming 62 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $31 million. Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette.
- At no. 6, Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey’s nature documentary African Cats debuted with a barely acceptable $6 million from 1,220 venues. Narrator: Samuel L. Jackson. Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Budget: $5 million (estimate).
International box office
Rio was the no. 1 movie internationally for the third consecutive weekend, bringing in an estimated $44.3 million from 66 territories. International total: $206 million. Rio, in fact, is the first 2011 release to pass the $200 million milestone overseas.
Rio was followed by Justin Lin’s action sequel Fast Five, starring Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, which, coincidentally, is partly set in Rio de Janeiro. Fast Five took in an estimated $24 million; the United Kingdom/Ireland was its biggest market ($8.8 million).
”Madea’s Big Happy Family Box Office: Tyler Perry Money-Loser” notes
Unless otherwise noted, “Madea’s Big Happy Family Box Office: Tyler Perry Money-Loser” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Madea’s Big Happy Family and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Lastly, although a more accurate reflection of a film’s popularity (i.e., its number of tickets sold), inflation-adjusted estimates should be taken with extreme caution. For instance, they’re based on average domestic ticket prices (via the National Association of Theater Owners, unless otherwise noted) whereas numerous major releases scored a large chunk of their box office take at top-priced venues.
Tyler Perry Madea’s Big Happy Family movie image: Lionsgate.
“Madea’s Big Happy Family Box Office: Tyler Perry Money-Loser” last updated in October 2023.