Movie producer Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween scored the No. 1 spot at the box office this week. But the actor-directer revealed getting his films to white neighborhoods is still an issue.
In an interview with The Wrap, Perry shared the $27.6 million opening-weekend earnings for Madea Halloween came from 1,500 fewer theaters than Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The former movie’s outcome surpassed the $20 million earnings expectation – which was also its budget.
Regardless of the stellar debut, Perry thinks white viewers could have improved the horror comedy movie’s reception.
“I still have issues getting screens in white neighborhoods believe it or not,” he said. “I think the numbers could have been bigger had people who are in the white suburbs had the option to go to their own theaters to see it. It’s something I’ve been dealing with for many, many years.”
Madea Halloween’s distributor, Lionsgate, released the film Oct. 21 in 2,260 theaters nationwide. Meanwhile, Never Go Back opened in 3,780 screens. Still, the crime flick fell behind Madea at No. 2 with $23 million.
The might of Boo! A Madea Halloween means Perry could consider himself lucky among other Black films released recently.
Katwe debuted to a limited theatrical release of just over $300,000. When its wide release came, it made $2.5 million that weekend. The Disney movie was made on location in Uganda on a $15 million budget.
For Nation, $7 million came in from movie-goers during its first weekend of release. Parker produced the Nat Turner biopic with $8.5 million in funds.
But like Madea Halloween, Kevin Hart had a favorable opening for his comedy concert Kevin Hart: What Now? The film opened to $11.7 million, making back more than its budget of $9.9 million.