Friday, April 24, 2009

Obsessed = Tyler Perry's Fatal Attraction?

For the record, the title joke comes from a friend of a friend named Brian Lynch (credit where credit is due). The reason I bring it up is because I'm wondering if Obsessed is yet another well-marketed film involving African American actors that is going to shock... SHOCK the pundits by grossing over $25 million this weekend. Just like pretty much every Tyler Perry film is a SHOCKING surprise at the box office? We'll know tomorrow, but I'm thinking the $17 million predictions are a little on the light side. Beyonce Knowles is a major star, and Idris Elba has been making his way through the ranks for awhile (and of course, he starred in Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls back in 2007). Toss in the plastering of the poster on every inch of every wall in LA, along with the simple and easy to explain premise, and this looks like a not so surprising surprise hit.

Scott Mendelson


Joe Leydon said...

Well, OK, Scott: YOU weren't among the prognosticators to underestimate the potential African-American audience. But as you say: Most others who play this game are... well, racist would be too strong a word to use in this context, but...

Scott Mendelson said...

Well, I think 'racist' might actually be just the word to use, in my opinion. Racism doesn't have to be simply be the act of being cruel or abusive to another race, it can also mean ignoring them. And each time something like this comes out, everyone is shocked... SHOCKED that African Americans are capable of going to the movies in such large numbers. I write a variation on this every time a Tyler Perry film comes out (although even I didn't expect Madea Goes to Jail to break the $40 million barrier.. ironic since it's by far his worst film ever). I also wrote something to this effect right before the opening weekend of Sex and the City. Unless your movie is tailored toward young, white males (preferably geeky), then your success will be a complete surprise to the box office pundits. I'm not saying I'm always right and they're always wrong, but this is an area that I've always been overly sensitive to.

Although, I must say, I wouldn't be surprised if this one was a strong draw for women of all races. For whatever reason, the weekend before summer has had a decent track record of female-targeting movies (Mean Girls, Baby Mama, and now Obsessed).


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