- Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? box office: Christian-tinged morality tale geared to black Americans was the top title in the domestic market this past weekend. Tyler Perry, Sharon Leal, Janet Jackson, Michael Jai White are four members of the ensemble cast.
- In other domestic box office news, James Gray’s crime drama We Own the Night and Tony Gilroy’s socially conscious Michael Clayton turned out to be underperformers. The former features Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix; the latter stars George Clooney.
Why Did I Get Married? box office: Tyler Perry has another domestic hit with his latest comedy-drama with a message
Oct. 12–14 weekend box office: A Lionsgate release, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? was the top pick of North American moviegoers (remember, Mexicans don’t count here and Canadians don’t make that much of a difference), grossing a solid $21.4 million from 2,011 theaters according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Geared to black and Christian U.S. audiences (blacks represented nearly 90 percent of the movie’s opening weekend audience), this latest morality tale by playwright-turned-filmmaker Perry – adapting his own 2003 play – easily surpassed the amount earned by his previous film: Last February, the romantic drama Daddy’s Little Girls, featuring Idris Elba and Gabrielle Union, collected $16.9 million from 2,111 locations in its first five days (the movie opened on a Wednesday).
In the Why Did I Get Married? cast: Tyler Perry, Sharon Leal, Janet Jackson, Michael Jai White, Tasha Smith, Lamman Rucker, Jill Scott, and Malik Yoba.
Update: Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? ultimately collected $55.2 million domestically. As to be expected for a Perry flick, it was all but completely ignored overseas, taking in a measly $658,000 (admittedly, the figure is in all likelihood incomplete), nearly all of it in South Africa. Worldwide total: $55.9 million.
That’s a good enough figure for a movie that likely cost no more than $15 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution costs).
Domestic audiences turn their back on We Own the Night
Trailing both Why Did I Get Married? and last weekend’s holdover The Game Plan (with $11 million), Sony Pictures’ We Own the Night – screened earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival – debuted in the no. 3 slot, pulling in a mediocre $10.8 million from 2,362 venues.
Set in late 1980s Brooklyn, James Gray’s crime drama stars Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, 2006) and Joaquin Phoenix as two estranged brothers – the former is a cop; the latter is a hedonist – who discover that the Russian mob is planning to murder the NYPD’s Deputy Chief, who, as it happens, is their father (Oscar winner Robert Duvall; Tender Mercies, 1983). Eva Mendes costars. Budget: $21 million.
Update: James Gray’s We Own the Night ultimately collected $28.5 million domestically and $26.5 million internationally. Worldwide total: $55 million.
That’s a mediocre figure – and hardly enough for the modestly budgeted crime drama to break even at the box office.
We Own the Night’s top international markets were France ($7.7 million), Spain ($3.7 million), and the United Kingdom/Ireland ($3.7 million).
George Clooney’s well-received legal thriller Michael Clayton disappoints after going wide
Also of note, Tony Gilroy’s well-regarded socially conscious legal thriller Michael Clayton expanded from 15 to 2,511 sites, bringing in a hugely disappointing $10.4 million – that’s a $4,131 per-theater average vs. We Own the Night’s $4,583.
The ten-day cume of this Warner Bros. release stands at only $11.5 million.Budget: $25 million.
In the Oscar-pedigreed cast: Winners George Clooney (Syriana, 2005) and Sydney Pollack (as both director and producer of Out of Africa, 1985), nominees Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom, 2001) and Michael O’Keefe (The Great Santini, 1980), and Tilda Swinton.
Update: Notwithstanding the presence of George Clooney and all the good reviews and awards season attention, Michael Clayton ultimately collected only $49 million domestically and $44 million internationally. Worldwide total: $93 million.
That’s a disappointing figure for a Clooney star vehicle, though, depending on how much was spent on its marketing and distribution, perhaps enough for the modestly budgeted socially conscious mystery drama to be profitable.
Michael Clayton’s top international markets were Italy ($6.3 million), France ($4.9 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($4.2 million), and Spain ($4.1 million).
“Why Did I Get Married? Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Why Did I Get Married? Box Office: Tyler Perry Moneymaker” 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 Why Did I Get Married?, We Own the Night, Michael Clayton, 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.
Tasha Smith and Michael Jai White Why Did I Get Married? movie image: Lionsgate.
“Why Did I Get Married? Box Office: Tyler Perry Moneymaker” last updated in March 2023.