|Red Tails box office numbers stink|
With one-tenth of the budget (marketing/distribution and filming) that George Lucas spent on Red Tails, Tyler Perry consistently churns out films catering to a predominately Black crowds that yield huge returns.
Costing $93 million to make and distribute, Red Tails has earned an estimated $31 – $33 million in two weeks of being in theaters. Not too bad, right? Wrong. Consider that Tyler Perry – the Orson Welles of Black cinema – has a target market of mostly Black moviegoers, while his films open to box office numbers that should give any industry analyst pause when it comes to evaluating Red Tails success. From my new Vdare column:
Of course, that $58 million didn’t count the $35 million dedicated to distribution and marketing. Still, some were even more optimistic: Take That, Critics! “Red Tails” Is Box Office Hit!, NewsOne.com, January 23, 2012.
But Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family opened to $25 million in April of 2011; and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married opened to $29 million in April of 2010; and Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail opened to $41 million in 2009. See the numbers on BoxOfficeMojo.com.
And Perry spends considerably less in marketing dollars and doesn’t get free, sycophantic “earned media”—let alone schools closing to take students to see fiction peddled as truth.
“Hollywood studios were stunned by how well this George Lucas banner film Red Tails did in matinees Friday. Until they discovered that the Lucasfilm/Twentieth Century Fox marketing inside the African-American community resulted in busloads of midday filmgoers for the Tuskegee Airmen’s true story. ”[Nikki Finke, writing on Deadline.com, January 22, 2012]
Nor do Black people launch a Twitter campaign(#supportRedTails) urging seeing Tyler movies the opening week.
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Crash and burned? Yeah. Red Tails is officially a bomb. And Slider still stinks.