Tyler Perry Says Goodbye Madea, Hello Oprah

Tyler Perry takes a break from making moviesTyler Perry is a well-known writer, producer and director. He recently released his 17th film in 10 years. This film, The Single Moms Club, is also the last film of Tyler’s partnership with Lionsgate Entertainment and the end of his era as a filmmaker. Mr. Perry is one of Hollywood’s most bankable talents. He is taking a break from filmmaking in order to devote his attention to making his television series a success for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Tyler said for his anniversary in film making he wanted to salute single mothers around the world. This mogul contends this group of women is one of the most overlooked people in the country. Tyler wanted to highlight the strength of the single mom and make public the struggles they endure on a daily basis.

Tyler’s most recent production starred Nia Long and Amy Smart. The movie is about five single moms who are struggling in one way or another. The film was released to theaters on March 14th and opened at number five with $8.3 million. The Single Moms Club is Tyler’s second lowest movie to open as a director.

Although the movie honoring single mothers fell about $10 million short of studio expectations OWN is still moving forward with its efforts on a series based on the movie. Later this year the one hour-long drama series based on The Single Moms Club will air; this will be the fourth show from Tyler for the OWN network.

In February Tyler and Lionsgate Entertainment decided they would not renew their working contract but have not ruled out future collaborations. During their partnership both entities flourished which resulted in Tyler and Lionsgate growing into their own empires. Tyler’s box office success of $50.7 million with his 2005 debut of the Diary of a Mad Black Woman landed him the lucrative deal with Lionsgate.

Tyler has now decided to take a break from making movies in order to focus his attention on producing projects for OWN. Working with his friend and mentor Oprah Winfrey, Tyler has secured a multiyear partnership to write and produce content for the OWN network. Currently, this mogul is the only producer to have a scripted series on the network. All of his series have been very successful thus far with The Haves and the Have Nots being the top rating generator for the network.

Mr. Perry penned a letter to his fans on March 20th stating this is the first time in 10 years he does not have his next movie ready to go. He went on to explain his focus this past year has been on his television shows which is where he said fans will find him until he decides to do another movie.

It is no secret that Tyler has had his share of critics, especially with his larger than life character Madea. However, this same character allowed him to score millions in the box office. Madea always struck the right chord with Tyler’s audience. Jeff Bock, Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analysts, said Tyler filled a huge void in the marketplace. There has never been another director who consistently tapped into a specific audience like he did.

Bock said Tyler’s successful films sustained Lionsgate Entertainment for a lengthy period. This filmmaker became so successful that he no longer was forced to work within the constraints of the Hollywood system. This type of creative freedom is something most artists never achieve.

To date Tyler’s highest grossing film is Madea Goes to Jail with $90.5 million. This is followed by Madea’s Witness Protection which brought in nearly $67 million worldwide. His movies which were all made on budgets under $15 million have grossed a total amount of about $845 million.

Tyler Perry is one of Hollywood’s greatest talents. He has decided to take a break from filmmaking in order to devote his attention to making his television series a success for the Oprah Winfrey Network. His many movie fans will now have to wait to see what the future holds but for now he is saying goodbye to Madea while welcoming Oprah with outstretched arms.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)


Black Enterprise
The Wrap

7 Responses to "Tyler Perry Says Goodbye Madea, Hello Oprah"