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March 31, 2013
Reasons Why Tyler Perry’s Temptation Caught the Entertainment Industry Off Guard
— Posted by Kenny Miles
Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor “over performed” at the box office this weekend to the surprise of many box office analysts. The movie ended up grossing near $22 million even though some predicted the movie to gross the low to mid teens. Playing in barely over 2,000 theaters, below average for a wide release, it grossed a spectacular $10,894 per location, almost identical to the $11,000 per location as G.I. Joe: Retaliation which played on a thousand more theaters and had a significantly higher market exposure.
The Target Demographic for a 4 Quad Hit is young and old along with men and women. My soapbox mantra is simple: Hollywood selectively caters to the young, secular, straight white men. They seem to be leary to make movies outside this box. Movies made outside of this formula typically over perform. Hollywood has a tendency to ignore segments of the population. There seems to be a lack of diverse products for various audiences. Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo tweeted the following statement which became the buzz of movie goers on Twitter: “There are only three directors who have at least nine $20+ million openings: Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, and… Tyler Perry.”
This might be the tipping point where Hollywood has the face the reality of catering to diverse audiences. However, I had a feeling that the Tyler Perry brand would, yet again, prevail above the expectations of the industry for a few reasons.
The Overlooked African American Audience
Honestly: Sex Sells
The Under Utilized Church Goers
People Are Talking About Marriage
This is debatable and open to interpretation but let’s face the facts of life: the word marriage was the most discussed word the previous week as the Supreme Court hears Oral Arguments defining the legality of gay marriage. Marriage was on the mind of the collective American Society. And marriage was the focus of Temptation. There isn’t evidence that the discussion of marriage equality helped Temptation at the box office, but the events of the week have people talking about marriage. When Tyler Perry talks about marriage and relationships, those movies tend to do pretty well. It’s a refreshing change of pace for Tyler Perry fans than Madea.
I find it puzzling that the Entertainment Industry doesn’t try to make more movies for segmented audiences. Lower budget movies made for select audiences with a well thought out marketing plan could go a long way. When will more production companies and movie studios in the Entertainment Industry get the message?
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Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.
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