Once again, recapping what I said about this series a few days ago when I started it… Since last week, I've been counting down the top 10 S&A posts of 2012, considering a number of factors, like number of comments, Facebook "likes," Facebook "shares," Twitter retweets, page views, and more.
The countdown will continue through this Tuesday, January 1, as we enter the new year, when the top post/item will be revealed.
Number 10 on the list, posted last week Monday, was Cybel's A Cinematographer’s Plea to the Budding Film Auteur : Move Your Camera. If you missed it, click HERE to read (or re-read); number 9 was Sergio's analysis on why Red Tails didn't perform strongly at the box office, especially after all the hype leading up to its release. You can read that post HERE; and number 8 was Andre Seewood's examination of the Sophia Stewart/The Matrix conspiracy, which you can read HERE; and finally, number 7 was the controversy over the music video from Erykah Badu and The Flaming Lips – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Read that HERE. Number 6 was on the ups & downs of the Andre Benjamin/Jimi Hendrix project; Read it HERE; number 5 on the list, was Scandal, which you can read HERE; number 4 was Luther. Read that post HERE, posted earlier today.
And number 3 on the list is Tyler Perry. It really shouldn't be much of a surprise that he's ranked so highly on this list, given how prolific he is as a media mogul (film, TV, theatre, the web – acting, writing, directing, producing, and probably more), which dictate the number of entries written about him.
And of course, almost every Tyler Perry post becomes a battleground contest between those who love him and those who don't. A running joke around here used to be that, just the mention of his name alone (regardless of additional content or context) will generate debate. He's just a polarizing figure, whether intentionally or not. And I anticipate that will continue in 2013, with another full year for Mr Perry, that'll see at least 3 films with his stamp on them – including one with the character that we could say is/was his claim to fame, Madea.
2012 was the year that saw Tyler really branch out and attempt to diversify – including his "romantic leading man" moves in Good Deeds, and action hero in Alex Cross. Neither was what you'd call much of a success, whether critically or commercially – each landing at the bottom of the list of 12 or so Tyler Perry-branded films, bringing his box office average down a bit, which used to be on the upper end of the $55 to $60 million range, and is now just barely $50 million.
Although Good Deeds performed better than Alex Cross, which may be his first genuine financial failure – in other words, the first Tyler Perry-branded film that failed to match or exceed its production budget: a $35 million production budget, and a $25 million gross. Although, in his defense, all he did in Cross was act. He didn't write the script nor did he direct. But it's still a Tyler Perry-branded film.
Despite opening weekend pleas from him, Perry's loyal pious base just didn't respond to either of those 2 films; as I noted in previous posts, looking at box office for all his movies, I was able to reach this conclusion: Average total box office for Tyler Perry movies WITH Madea – roughly $60 million; Average box office total for Tyler Perry movies WITHOUT Madea – about $40 million.
So, clearly, Madea movies, on average, have done better than non-Madea Tyler Perry movies – about $20 million more in ticket sales, on average.
It may not seem like a huge difference, but for films that aren't exactly expected to be box office blockbusters (again, on average overall, his films gross around $50 million), a $20 million gap will get your attention, especially if you're a Lionsgate/Summit studio exec. So, as we've said before, definitely don't expect Madea to go away anytime soon.
In fact, Madea will feature in at least one Tyler Perry movie in 2013 – an untitled Madea Christmas movie. In addition to that, in 2013, look for the following films from Tyler Perry: one he wrote and directed, but doesn't star in (Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor), and one he only produced with Stephanie Allain (We The Peeples).
And, by the way, on the TV front, not only are his existing series apparently still doing well for him and the network that has long carried them (TBS), but Mr Perry will be creating 2 new scripted series for Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, in 2013. And in exchange, for his part, Perry will get "a small equity stake" in OWN, according to the New York Post, in addition to a guaranteed future home for his new TV projects; likely seen as a much lower risk proposition than investing in the restructuring of an existing network, which was his original plan – to build his own network in 2012.
No word on what exactly Perry's percentage stake in OWN will be under this new deal.
In August, Perry announced that he'd be taking an indefinite break from stage work to focus on what he called "some major projects;" he didn't specify, and, at the time, I assumed that one of those major projects would be his new network. But apparently, that wasn't the case. It now looks like he was referring to his OWN deal, as well as shooting Single Moms Club in the fall, which won't be out until 2014.
He was certainly a busy bee in 2012.
So, a toast to Tyler Perry, regardless of how you feel about the man and his work. We here at S&A certainly love him, in case you haven't been able to tell – after all, he's generated so much traffic, and so many pageviews for this site! How couldn't we love him!
We look forward to what 2013 will bring.
The top two S&A posts/topics of 2012 will be posted tomorrow!