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Weekend B.O. May 10-12 (What Happened To 'Peeples'?)

Box Office
by Sergio
May 12, 2013 12:15 PM
118 Comments
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Peebles

Wow! Didn’t see that coming. Of course Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby were on the top of the this weekend's B.O. chart with Gatsby, which was predicted by many to be one the first major flops of this summer season, doing much better than anyone expected, grossing $51 million, while IR3, to date, has earned some $950 million worldwide.

But let’s get to the real surprise which was how disastrously Tyler Perry’s Peeples performed this weekend, not even cracking $5 million. And this means that the film won’t even make back its very modest $15 million production budget, and it will be out of most theaters by the end of the week.

So what in the hell happened?

I admit I was surprised too. Of course it was up against some heavy hitters and no one expected it to do big numbers. But one would think that it would find its niche audience and do reasonably well.

And you would think that with Tyler Perry’s name attached to it, it would have had a guaranteed audience. But not even they showed up for it and, needless to say, it’s far and away the lowest box office opening for anything with Perry’s name associated with it.

But here are a few reasons I could come up with for the film's surprising results:

Wrong movie/wrong time - It was released at a really bad time, right at the beginning of the big summer movie season. And with so many other options that people have been anxiously anticipating to see, no one was in the mood for a lightweight comedy. It should have come out either earlier this year or pushed back until later in the season, when people had had their fill of big, bloated, CGI infested spectaculars.

Marketing problems – The trailer wasn’t particularly funny; the various one sheets for the film weren’t great (that one with the pictures of the three leads mugging was especially atrocious), and Lionsgate never got a real grasp on how to market the film. Aside from the fact that the film’s release date was moved around several times for almost a year (Peeples was shot back in 2010/2011), potential filmgoers could sense there was something wrong with the film, and stayed away... which leads to…

Bad movie – The film wasn’t good anyway. As a friend of mine, who saw it at an earlier preview before I did,  said to me, the film was “cut to shit”. Exactly. It was a very choppily edited film in which most of the comedy never seemed to flow naturally, or was allowed to build up to any punch. Instead it seemed to meander, several times setting up situations with no follow through. And there was that whole lesbian subplot that was more of a guy’s fantasy, which then chickens out at the crucial minute. I mean, finally, a real reason for guys to see a movie that Perry is involved with (some girl/girl action) and the film cops out! DAMN IT!.

The performances were all over the place. David Alan Grier, who is one of the funniest people alive, gave a one note, sour puss performance. I kept waiting for him to do something, anything, even remotely funny. Meanwhile Kerry Washington was so hyper and frantic that she was almost bouncing off the walls. And poor Diahann Carroll was totally wasted. Why is she in the film if you’re not going to use her? Perhaps S. Epatha Mekerson came off the best, because she was the most sympathetic and human character in the entire film.

There's evidence of some major post-production problems with its erratic editing, and the constant shifting of release dates and titles, going from Meet the Peeples to simply Tyler Perry’s Peeples, all indicating that the studio had a film in trouble.

Is it Robinson or was it the part? - I interviewed him, and, in fact, we interviewed him twice, for the site and we can all attest that Craig Robinson is just a very funny and super nice guy. And he definitely worked his ass off to promote the film as well. But he simply doesn’t have that “star quality” needed to play a lead role. He’s fine on TV and he’s a solid supporting actor, but he’s just not leading man material.

However there very much could be a lead role for him out there which he’s perfect for, but Peeples wasn’t it. It didn’t play to his comedic strengths, which lean more towards the edgy and definitely off-the-wall. In the film, he came off as a rather bland, nice guy, but that’s the way the role was written. Better luck next time.

The failure of Peeples is also bad news because it could lead to Perry becoming reluctant to support other filmmakers to make, and will force him to restrict himself more than ever and just do his own stuff instead.

What do you think went wrong?

1) Iron Man 3 BV $72,472,000 Total: $284,893,000 
2) The Great Gatsby  WB $51,115,000 
3) Pain and Gain Par. $5,000,000 Total: $41,608,000 
4) Tyler Perry Presents Peeples LGF $4,850,000 
5) 42 WB $4,650,000 -Total: $84,732,000 
6) Oblivion Uni. $3,864,000 Total: $81,655,000
7) The Croods Fox $3,600,000 Total: $173,215,000 
8) The Big Wedding LGF $2,500,000 Total: $18,288,000
9) Mud RAtt. $2,343,000 Total: $8,363,000 
10) Oz The Great and Powerful BV $802,000 Total: $229,985,000 
11) Scary Movie 5 W/Dim. $706,000 Total: $30,644,000
12) The Place Beyond the Pines Focus $675,000 Total: $19,967,000 


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118 Comments

  • Stealth Ninja | May 31, 2013 11:10 AMReply

    Here is what I think Lassiter vs Fox, Drumline, Ledford vs Dallas Austin and the movie ATL, all written by Peeples writer and Director Tina Fraud Gordon Chism. Folks, this writer is a fraud, plain and simple. She was hired to rewrite Lassiter movie: Pay The Price, and the movie that was first titled " Jellybean". Soon ATL. She is a sitcom writer!! Two Multi- million dollar Federal Lawsuits where filed against her, and the movie studios that sponsored her scheme! Look at the time line of her deception . 2002 Drumline, four years later 2006 ATL, seven years later 2013, something is wrong with this picture....all ends in controversy!! Tina Gordon Chism is a fraud, and infringer, have a great day!! Prison will be her next story!!

  • NO BRAINER | May 20, 2013 4:01 PMReply

    I'd say bad movie. I see a lot of people talking about how much they enjoyed this and decided to see it. I regret to inform that I didn't enjoy it. It was Temptation bad with its Three's Company sitcom humor, hollow atmosphere, forgettable characters and flat performances. I didn't buy anything about it. Just a lot of pointless scenes, like the tent scens, like the tent scene. And it was so pretentious. And unfunny. Bad movies like this don't deserve box office success.

  • NO BRAINER | May 20, 2013 4:03 PM

    And you cannot tell me the dining room scene didn't feel like a table read by actors unfamiliar with the material.

  • Nadell | May 18, 2013 12:19 AMReply

    I'd say bad timing. To compete w/ Iron Man & Gatsby.....bad idea.
    I'd also say, in my opinion of course, Tyler Perry's name attachment was a turn off.

  • tishauna7 | May 16, 2013 3:05 AMReply

    somebody said some thing interesting on the facebook page about this. basically they said "There's a specific niche of film blacks support and this isn't one of them. There was no relationship drama, Christian overtones, no hip hop story or stars. Basically it was non hood in anyway possible mashing it unidentifiable to blacks as film goers. Oh also no man in loud mouth drag either."

    i more or less agreed, same reason alex cross bombed

  • CareyCarey | May 14, 2013 11:14 AMReply

    "I did go to see "Django" in the theater. I was intrigued from the beginning, but THE TRAILER CONVINCED me to go see it. I loved it! So certain people get me to pay closer to attention to films that they're involved with, but I don't show up just because their name is attached to it."

    SAADIYAH, as you can see, I had to take a little time to process that thought and put it in the proper context of this post.

    My decision to see "Peebles" was multifaceted.

    Sidebar: The transportation company picked up my mother BEFORE WE ARRIVED AT HER FACILITY! I was like, WTH... and where is she at NOW? I was highly pissed off, to say the least. Anyway, they brought her back. When she arrived I told her I was sorry for the mix up. She said, "oh, don't worry about it... it was a nice little ride". The cinema was only 1 mile away but damn-damn-damn, what meat heads thought we'd send her to the movies by herself? Anyway, although she fell asleep in the theater, she enjoyed her day out.

    Back to Peeples:

    As I said, I decided to see Peeples for several reasons, the least of which had nothing to do with Tyler Perry being attached. But like you, and as I said before, I pay close attention to key personnel. So for me, this movie was a no-brainer. Come on now, David Alan Grier! Not only is he a Yale School of Drama graduate, who can forget his days on In Living Color? His "I got a song, wanna hear it" and those Men On Film sketches are classics. And that's just the tip of his genius. So my nose was open when I saw his name.

    But it was a done deal when I noticed the names Kerry Washington, S. Epatha Mekerson and Craig Robinson. Come on now, we're talkin' stalwart black actors. I was as giddy as a sissy in a penis factory. Yes sir, there was no way I was not putting this film on my must see list. No amount of yik-yak about poor trailer this and Tyler Perry that, could move me off this journey. And, to add to my delight, I read all of S&A's interviews with the cast and crew.

    Now here we are on numerous occasions, begging and pleading for more black face behind and in front of the camera - and when we get it, the nay-nayers have the loudest voices. Damn, not only were we afforded the oppurtunity to praise superior black actors, BLACK WOMEN were running this show. So for me, this project got my YES VOTE.

    So maybe I can be called one of Sergio's popular sayings... "you sound like one of those "let's-support-black-people-no-matter-what-they-do-even-if-it's-total-shit-as-long-as-they're-making-money" type of people"

    But see, the rub is, this was not - by no stretch of imagination - total shit. This was that good shit. The movie was very entertaining and laugh out loud funny.

    Lastly SAADIYAH, in reference to Spike Lee and Quentin Tarrantino, I've seen all their movies. They are in a group of people who I will not miss - regardless of what a trailer or "the other crowd" says. Included in that group are Samuel Jackson, Denzel Washington and Lee Daniels. Tapping at the window are Morgan Freeman, Carl Franklin, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker. They all will get my money, in time. Of course there are some white folks in that list, but I'm not going there. This is a black thang, today. And I've truly enjoyed our conversation.

    ~CareyCarey

  • saadiyah | May 14, 2013 10:58 PM

    Glad your Mom was able to get out and enjoyed her outing and the movie!

    It boils down to this, all Black people aren't going to like the same types of film. Seems like TPTB believe and want us to believe that a "Black movie" must uphold a certain set of criteria to be accepted by Black people. It's just not true. I want Black film makers and actors/actresses to be given the opportunity to produce and act in a diverse array of films that appeal to the diversity of movie goers, regardless of race, that already exists. We simply don't get that.

    Thanks for the discussion as well.

  • ALAS | May 13, 2013 10:35 PMReply

    It all came down to poor direction. I had my fingers crossed for Tina Gordon Chism. She got a bigger break than Ava DuVernay, Dee Reese, Tanya Hamilton and Shola Lynch combined and blew it. I think it's gallant that Sergio doesn't name her here but that shotty direction needs to be called out by somebody.

  • Torque | May 13, 2013 9:06 PMReply

    It's so funny how so many posts on this blog go without any comments but soon as Tyler Perry's name is mentioned the comment section rises to over 100 comments. Some of you are literally obsessed with this man, hoping and praying for his downfall. Folk complained that Tyler needed to let someone else direct and do the writing and when he did the movie flopped. He only put his name behind it probably to sell the rather drab storyline.

    I could instantly tell this movie was going to be a flop from the beginning. Lionsgate thought Tyler's name alone was going to sell it to his audience and they didn't buy it. Now when Tyler puts his own stuff out and promotes it properly his fans support it, but trying to force them into seeing a movie because his name is associated with is a recipe for disaster.

  • S. | May 13, 2013 6:48 PMReply

    Bad directing. Not all actors can direct, not all screenwriters can direct, and so sad but true, not all directors can direct. A bad direct ruins a movie from pre-pro to post.

  • sergio | May 13, 2013 5:07 PMReply

    I have nothing to say. I just wanted to see my article reach 100 comments

    Thank you

  • ALM | May 13, 2013 6:02 PM

    Hilarious and you are welcome :)

  • Mo Betta Quote of the day | May 13, 2013 4:26 PMReply

    "You grandiose MF's don't play the shit that they like.
    If you play the shit that they like, then people will come.
    Simple as that,."
    -Flipper Purify

  • jess | May 13, 2013 6:04 PM

    Ahem, it is Mo' BETTER Blues.

  • CC | May 13, 2013 5:26 PM

    Right actor, wrong character. Flipper Purify was not in Mo Betta Blues. That was Shadow Henderson's quote.

    But btw, since you're here, did you know Spike Lee's Mo Betta Blues is a great example of black folk's fickleness? Yep, even one of the greatest black directors of all time couldn't get black folks to spend their money. That's right, even with the best black actor of all time, Denzel Washington, and the very entertaining Wesley Snipes in key roles, the film didn't bust 20 million.

    If only Peeble's producers and director/writer knew that black folks are funny and the film business is a crap shoot. Anyone who steps in that arena is a glutton for punishment... or they were a bit naive when they first jumped in. Or maybe... they're a dinosaur of the most diverse group of primates; Sahelan-loveartnotmoney-thropus.

  • Enuff | May 13, 2013 2:26 PMReply

    I get so tired of SOME people constantly dissin' Tyler Perry. If you don't like his movies then don't go to see them. Better still if you are so talented then why don't you become a writer/director/producer so people can critique your work. Am I saying that all of Perry's movies are great, or that we should all go see all of his movies.....no I am not. No one likes all genres. Leave Mr. Perry alone. I chose to be glad for his success, rather than try to tear him down

  • Ghost | May 13, 2013 7:51 PM

    Excuse me Tyler Perry sheep-nobody told Tyler to put his name on a film he had nothing to with in terms of writing or directing. Since he did-he gets ripped and YES folks are turned off by him and YES that did play a part in folks not wanting to see this film.

    Who is tearing him down? No one on this board. It called an observation of why this film might have flopped. His name is just 1 of those possible factors.

    Just because he makes money does NOT excuse him from getting ripped. If George Lucas and especially Michael Bay can get ripped-Tyler can too. And both bring in more cash than Tyler.

    It is TYLER'S job to create a product that people want to see. For many of us-he has YET to get there. It is not my job to write or direct or produce-it is my job to consider what I want watch and just because I see a bunch of US in a film does mean I run like a blind sheep to go see it.

    That's what is wrong now you Tyler Perry sheep accept anything! Which give us tons of crap in return. Learn to be selective and DEMAND better. Stop living in this fear if we don't support whatever crap comes out we won't get more black films. You know what if that has to happen to get 1 decent film without a dumb black female getting done wrong by a dark skinned black man and saved by a man in drag and a light skinned black guy. Then so be it.

    Tyler CHOOSE to work in this business and he will get ripped whenever he puts his name on something-learn to accept that!

  • Another Tyler perry Apologist | May 13, 2013 2:35 PM

    I agree completely!!!

  • j | May 13, 2013 1:14 PMReply

    Kerry Washington and Tyler Perry have very different fan bases. Black women who love Scandal tend to avoid Tyler Perry films. Tyler's fans tend to not like Kerry.

  • Enuff | May 13, 2013 2:27 PM

    J.....so you know what all fans like??!! I think not!!

  • AccidentalVisitor | May 13, 2013 2:20 PM

    I know plenty of black people at work stupid enough to think both Scandal and any Tyler Perry film represent they zenith of modern day entertainment. You're deluding yourself if you don't think the two can't be loved by the same individuals.

  • DAVID | May 13, 2013 12:05 PMReply

    i liked the movie! i think the timing of it was the only reason it didn't perform well. I agree that the trailer wasn't that good, but to expect it to do well during this time of summer blockbusters is delusional. There were a sold 2 or 3 months where there was NOTHING at the movies and you wait until NOW?

    We (black folk) go see action movies too! And we watch their stuff before we watch ours, so this was just an all around bad placing. Either way GREAT JOB Tina Gordon Chism!

  • jerrica | May 13, 2013 11:54 AMReply

    The only reason I even knew about the movie is this website. They must not have used social media to their advantage. Although I considered going, I didn't see the movie, even though I loved the fact that two black women collaborated to direct and produce it. Craig Robinson and Kerry just made an unbelievable couple. So, directors, if you want sisters in the seats, please give us something sexy to look at and discuss later (think Michael Ealy in TLAM). However, if I had known about the ridiculous lesbian subplot, it definitely would have been labeled a no-go from jump.

  • Truth Hurts | May 13, 2013 11:31 AMReply

    Ouch. When a movie bombs this bad, its EACH and EVERY decision that was made prior to opening weekend that will be second guessed.

    This will burn the bridge for others.

    In the future, the director/producers need to invest in the Script Analysis data, and question each and every decision BEFORE, shooting.

    Don't blame the audience.
    Blame yourself.

  • JuJu | May 13, 2013 10:32 AMReply

    I stayed home because there was no one in the cast I liked, except Washington, which isn't enough to make me waste my money. Plus Tyler Perry's name.......that killed it for me. If Tyler Perry's name was attached to The Great Gatsby, I wouldn't see it either!

  • Enuff | May 13, 2013 2:32 PM

    I wouldn't (pay) to see Gatsby....no matter who's name was attached to it. I will wait and see it for free; by borrowing the dvd from the public library when it comes out

  • Bee | May 13, 2013 12:06 AMReply

    Tyler Perry's name attached to it and (I'm sorry) Craig Robinson ruined it for me, and thus prevented me from seeing the film. However, now I feel guilty and will go see it this week. I don't doubt that it's probably worth watching (the lack of believability of Kerry ever being with a guy like Craig, aside).

  • sharongee | May 12, 2013 11:23 PMReply

    I saw it this afternoon...I LIKED IT!!! So funny. Yes it reminded me of a black version of Meet the Parents but Craig Robinson was hilarious! His facial expressions are golden. S. Epather Matheson was phenomenal..I didnt even know she could do comedy. All in all I give the film a strong C plus because the plot wasn't original and they could have taken it even deeper with the lesbo subplot and the son who wants to be a thug.

  • Miles Ellison | May 12, 2013 11:19 PMReply

    This is all about what black audiences choose to support. There are people making making movies and television shows that run counter to established black stereotypical characterization. The question is this: is there a significant audience for this kind of material? Films like Pariah, I Will Follow, Medicine for Melancholy, and Night Catches Us are not typical black cinematic fare. Yet none of these films was in wide release. If these films were in a multiplex, would they have made as much money as Temptation? Or any of Perry's Madea films? The Help?

  • CC | May 13, 2013 9:14 AM

    Arguably the most poignant, straight forward, to the point, no beating around the bush comment in the entire tread, yet *crickets*...

    Well, the answer is **drum roll** not in a thousand years. Yet, the question remains - WHY?

    Adding to that quandary, was the acting skills of the actors in Think Like A Man superior to those in "Peebles"? Absolutely not, not in a thousand years! Were the images in TLAM more "positve" than those in "Peebles"? No Way! Was TLAM funnier than Peebles? Kevin Hart was funny but overall -NOPE - TLAM seemed forced and pretentious.

    Finally, considering and understanding why the typical black audience digs in their pockets, fumbling through their low funds to find money to see a movie, would the entertainment value of Pariah, I Will Follow, Medicine for Melancholy and Night Catches Us, surpass that of Madea films or The Help or Django? Well, millions and millions and millions of black folks would say "HELL NO... I know where I can find our history, loneliness, heartache and depression, they're all at the cemetery. So I don't need movies to take me there"

  • Boutros | May 12, 2013 11:08 PMReply

    Carey Carey must like the smell of his own farts.

  • CC | May 13, 2013 12:38 AM

    @ SS, and you're still an eggplant, regardless of the screen names you use. :-)

    But listen, I really feel bad for Tina Gordon Chism 'cause I really believe she did a great job. But some folks who HAVE NOT EVEN SEEN THE FILM - are stuck on the most frivolous issues. I would suggest that the heckle and jeckle crowd go see the movie and then come back and talk about something they know.

  • SS | May 12, 2013 11:42 PM

    CC = Carey Carey = shithead

  • CC | May 12, 2013 11:38 PM

    My farts smell like pumpkin pie. Would you like a slice?

  • Red Carpet Slave | May 12, 2013 10:53 PMReply

    Peeples Film did NOT do well for many reasons and one of them is NOT because Tina didn't do a good job. Kerry Washington is not a "FAN Favorite" of Tyler Perry's fans... Black audiences want Black PEOPLE in the movie- They would have done better casting Monique in Kerry Washington's place. Black people want FUNNY all around and Kerry Washington is many things and FUnny is NOT one of them. At ALL!!! She was the reason! Reason #2 They would have done better casting Gabrielle Union in the spot Kerry Washington played and letting Chris Rock or Dave CHappelle play the role of Craig Robinson's brother. David Alan Grier was funny seemed leashed! He wasn't his unleashed self. Why did they waste Dianne Carroll? If anything Madea could have been the grandma.... Tyler Perry fans want Tyler Perry reasons he gives us to see the movie. He didn't seem motivated to go... He said Go but it was like obligation. I went only because his name was attached and David ALan Grier and also Craig Robinson is funny to me. I'm just not crazy about KerryW . Chris Rock played in movie w/Kerry before so perhaps they should have called him. Just to check.

  • Enuff | May 13, 2013 1:44 PM

    @FanFav How dare you assume what ALL black people want to see, and that Kerry is not a fan favorite. Millions of black people love Kerry Washington, and realize she can, and has done well in numerous different roles. I didn't go see the movie because in seeing the commercials Craig was a total turnoff for me. The matching of him, and Kerry's characters as love interests was totally unbelievable. And I absolutely hated the scene with him humping the floor

  • CareyCarey | May 12, 2013 10:11 PMReply

    Hat tip to ACCIDENTALVISITOR.

    Essay: How race, class and genre intertwine in "Peeples" By Ann Hornaday, Published: May 9

    "Peeples," a low-middlebrow romantic comedy

    "a predictable, broad, slightly raunchy comedy"

    "Jumping the Broom," a rom-com set on the Vineyard, has earned more than $35 million, about six times its budget. "Similarly, "Think Like a Man," whose main story line centers on a driven corporate executive and the dreamy chef who loves her, has been a box office winner"

    The above are a few quotes which caught my eye in Ann Hornaday's essay. And, Tambay (as Accidental mentioned) had a few words.

    “It's almost as if the black middle class doesn’t exist on-screen,' said Tambay Obenson, editor and chief writer at the Indiewire film blog Shadow & Act. "What you get is the extremes, the poor and ghetto or the wealthy."

    Tambay's words are quite insightful, but add the following to the mix:

    "complex portraits of the lives of many African Americans can be found in movies being made today, by directors such as Dee Rees (Pariah), Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) and Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), whose voices deserve to be heard beyond the art houses where their films have mostly played"

    Hmmm, reading the essay I couldn't help thinking the title should read "How race, class and genre intertwine in My People - Black Folks"

    The box office for Pariah, Middle of Nowhere and Medicine for Melancholy, although championed by some black folks, where dismal to say the least. Why? Some have misguidedly placed the blame at Tyler Perry's doorstep. Some blame the so-called low-brow church folks. Some are quick to say "The snobs done it". Yet others blame the ambiguous boogieman, aka white Hollywood. However, I'm prone to believe the fault (if there is any) rests with the black community's dollars and how they spend their dollars.

    Truth be told, going to the movies can be viewed as a luxury, one that many African Americans would not consider a major priority. Consequently, when the middle-class black family (the largest black dollars) sits down at their kitchen table, frowns on their faces as they try to figure out what's in and what's out -- a series drama about the hard knocks of black life may not get a yes vote. But what about white folks? Well, it has been proven that white folks -- by and large -- do not support black films of any genre. So who's really the devil behind the "Peeples" failure? I don't know, black folks wear many faces, some are two-faced, some can be found hiding in several different groups, some are poor and many could care less about spending their hard earn money on a movie. In short, there's a limited supply of black dollars and I've stopped trying to figure out whose hands are holding those mean greens. But I have empathy and compassion for screenwriter/director Tina Gordon Chism. She tried to do the right thing... and personally, I believe she did an excellent job.

    Now check out the essay's last paragraph... "Chism's tactics for navigating the tricky currents of race, class and the studio system have already begun to pay off: She sold her thriller, called "Inheritance," to Sony. She begins shooting in August"

    I wonder if the fickleness of black folks has taken that off the table? I'd also suggest everyone read Ann Hornaday's essay.

  • saadiyah | May 13, 2013 11:23 AM

    @CareyCarey - I haven't seen Lee's "Red Hook Summer" and I'm not inspired too. I thought Miracle at St Anna was bad. Have seen all of Spike's documentaries more than one time and thinks he's brilliant with docs.

    I didn't go to the theater to see Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterd's" because the trailers didn't grab me. I saw it on cable and really enjoyed it. I did go to see "Django" in the theater. I was intrigued from the beginning, but THE TRAILER CONVINCED me to go see it. I loved it!

    So certain people get me to pay closer to attention to films that they're involved with, but I don't show up just because their name is attached to it.

  • CareyCarey | May 13, 2013 1:01 AM

    "There is less willingness to take a risk on films that some may deem as a "Black" movie"

    Good point, SAADIYAH... and Mrs. Chism spoke to that very issue...

    "There was definitely a strategy," she said. "Comedy is something that the studios are more apt to make. I'm black, and I'm female, and I knew: Could I break out in a thriller? A hundred percent no. It hasn't been tested in the studio system long enough for them to refer back to numbers to give me that."

    "It's a chess game," she continued. "You have to push your messaging forward about black imagery but give the studio what their expectations are. [I put] "Peeples" into a format that they felt comfortable with, especially if a black woman was going to have the reins . . .

    But SAADIYAH, I have to challenge you. You mentioned your affection for the directors Tarantino and Lee. However, in the same breath you said you're not loyal to any particular actor/actress, writer, or producer... "I need to be drawn in either by the source material, the trailer, or reviews".

    So, I have to ask, is there any of Tarantino's or Lee's latest films that you have not seen? I believe I know the answer. But for shits and giggles, could you tell me why you didn't see them (if you did not?). Now be careful 'cause I'm building a spider web ;-)

  • saadiyah | May 13, 2013 12:10 AM

    @CareyCarey - I could care less what movies other people want to see. I just want producers and directors to put out what I want to see! I'm not loyal to any particular actor/actress, writer, or producer. Anyone can have hits or misses. There are some though, like Tarantino or Lee, that I'm more likely to pay attention to but that's still only if what they're putting out appeals to me on some level. I need to be drawn in either by the source material, the trailer, or reviews.

    Kerry Washington is my absolute favorite actress right now. I would have loved to go see "Peeples" for her, but it had too many negatives that kept me at home. I'm sure everyone involved in that film has more money than me, so I will not be giving up my hard-earned money simply to "support" them.

    Now the blame for the lack of support can be attributed to the "system." There is less willingness to take a risk on films that some may deem as a "Black" movie. So the money is put behind what seems like a sure thing, e.g. Tyler Perry movies. Films that don't look similar to the "sure thing" get passed over.

    Each year there are a number of box office bombs with White leads, producers, and directors, even with near 100 million dollar budgets. Yet we don't see a change in the diversity of films that are aimed at White audiences. The money made on the winners will cover what's been lost on the losers.

  • NO BRAINER | May 13, 2013 12:02 AM

    I meant spoke, not unspoken.

  • CareyCarey | May 12, 2013 11:30 PM

    Madhatter *wink* good comeback. And the problem is glossed over. The armchair critics/tweet sweets/haters and followers (at this site) are human variations of transformers.

    @ JEFTCG, be careful what you ask for. You know when you start agreeing with POOTIE TANG, some folks might start calling you Huggy Bear... or calling us Amos & Andy.

  • Miles Ellison | May 12, 2013 11:23 PM

    But lets talk about the core of my complaint which you touched on--> "There just isn't enough support for better quality or least more diverse Black films"

    The question remains... WHY? Where do you lay the blame, SAADIYAH?


    This is the essence of the issue.

  • CareyCarey | May 12, 2013 11:16 PM

    No SAADIYAH, we should not show up in drove because-because-because. Nor should we "classify" people, nor judge them based on how they choose to spend their money.

    However, in reference to reviews, do you base your movie selections on that flim-flam group of writers? I don't. I look at the cast, the writers and the director. If they touch ME - I could care less about some guy making a living off the sweat of others. Hell, you know, to a large degree, many "professional" critics play to their crowd. They placate and appease those who pays their bills. Come on now, I am sure you've witness such - even here at S&A.

    But lets talk about the core of my complaint which you touched on--> "There just isn't enough support for better quality or least more diverse Black films"

    The question remains... WHY? Where do you lay the blame, SAADIYAH?

  • JEFTCG | May 12, 2013 10:58 PM

    CareyCarey, I'm not entirely sure I get what you're saying, but I think I agree with you.

  • NO BRAINER | May 12, 2013 10:57 PM

    The MadHatter has to agree with you about the fickleness of black folks. It's a major part of the problem rarely unspoken.

  • saadiyah | May 12, 2013 10:50 PM

    So is it expected that Black people will show up and support anything produced or directed by another Black person or helmed by a largely Black cast? In my opinion, the trailers for "Peeples" weren't good nor were the reviews. If we showed up in droves for what appears to be a sub-par movie, does that then open the doors for better quality movies to be green-lit or will we then continually get more low-quality fare thrown our way?

    Pariah, Middle of Nowhere and Medicine for Melancholy did have low box office receipts, but that's because they were Indie films and didn't have the weight of a Tyler Perry or a Will Smith behind them. Most Black people (and even White audiences) knew nothing about them or didn't have access to them. That's part of the tragedy. There just isn't enough support for better quality or least more diverse Black films. I'm sorry but I can't keep showing up at the theater to see the same characters and same plots again and again (Perry's films), even if they were good the first time.

  • ALM | May 12, 2013 10:04 PMReply

    I have a feeling that the version of "Peeples" that hit theaters this weekend is VERY different from the "Peeples" film that Tina Chism directed/envisioned back in 2010/2011.

    I understand that she partnered with Tyler Perry for a number of strategic regions, i.e. the doors that he could open and the access to press junkets that Ms. Chism would normally not be able to access, but ultimately she may want to release her next film solely on her own.

  • saadiyah | May 12, 2013 9:49 PMReply

    "Think Like a Man" consisted of a mainly Black cast and did extremely well at the box, with Whites flocking to see it as well as Blacks. It isn't that Black audiences are fickle or that White movie goers won't go see "Black" films, it's that PEOPLE want a GOOD movie. That includes not presenting them with unbelievable, unfunny, or trite plots!

  • ScriptTease | May 13, 2013 12:24 AM

    I believe "Think Like a Man" was seen by a large white audience because Steve Harvey has a large support group that also consist of white folks. Not to mention, he has his radio show and talk show, so he had extra advertisement, which IMO was one of the reasons why the movie did so well, and it was pretty good.

  • K | May 12, 2013 8:55 PMReply

    The movie did poorly solely because of the idiots who decided to release it the same weekend as Gatsby and Iron Man oh and in the summer! Peeples is so a fall or beginning of the year movie. Not a summer one. I wanted to watch the movie, not because I thought it was any good, but just because. I'll still watch it when it comes out on DVD, but the class issues is done to death in black films. I think black people need to expand. Our movies don't just have to be by the book rom coms. They don't even have to be comedies for goodness sake! They can be sci fi, dry, moody, melancholic, thriller, artsy, etc. I watch Womb, Eternal Sunshine, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Pride and Prejudice and I think we can do movies like that. SO WHY HAVEN'T WE? And I think like some have said Scandal is a success because it's a primarily white cast with enough color to seem diverse, but not too much color as to look polarizing.

  • ScriptTease | May 15, 2013 3:48 PM

    @sthn, Thanks, I need it.

  • scriptTease | May 15, 2013 3:45 PM

    @getthesenets, I’m sorry you misunderstood what I was getting at or offended you in any kind of way, perhaps if I was to say "X-men with an all-black cast. I was trying to say we need to step outside of the norm/box... we need variety. I could have pulled any movie out of my alleged "full of shit ass", but I had love stories on the brain. Tyler Perry is a big example of being inside the box, but my guess is you are a big fan.

  • getthesenets | May 13, 2013 5:23 PM

    @Scripttease


    Said it before....people who use the phrase "don't put all Black people in a box" are generally full of shit.

    A few sentences after talkin about thwe box...you suggest doing a "Black version" of what I figure to be a film with an all white cast


    What's creative about pitching a Black version of a film/story? Chris Rock has made a career of doing BAD versions of white films.....

  • sthn | May 13, 2013 1:36 AM

    Lots of luck SCRIPTTEASE!

  • ScriptTease | May 13, 2013 12:45 AM

    Glad I'm not the only person wishing black folks would step outside the box. It's more to life than black issues, and stereotypical films black folk normally play. As I said once before in a much earlier article.... Imagine "The Notebook" a predominately-black cast. We can do that. Of course, it would not be verbatim; we would have to make it believable when it comes to black folk, but what's wrong with a "Black Notebook". I am an Aspiring Screenwriter, who has entered my Screenplay into "Urbanworld, HBFF and Scriptapalooza", and I have fingers and toes crossed. My screenplay is a powerful black dramatic love story. Picture “When a Man Loves a Woman”, different but familiar, and more intense. I guarantee, not stereotypical. I wish to have Gina Prince-Bythewood Direct, and Common and possibly Tika Sumpter to play the main characters. I have two others I'm working on and all three definitely outside of the box.

  • NO BRAINER | May 12, 2013 10:48 PM

    The Gatsby thing. I forgot. Good one. I wasn't checking for either film but what you're saying make sense. Studios had, in the past, either pushed back releases or had studios push back the releases of other films. The most famous of them all, Harrison Ford getting Paramount to push back the release of Titanic so it won't hurt box office for his Air Force One.

  • Correction | May 12, 2013 8:12 PMReply

    I wanted to see the film this weekend after seeing the trailer before Temptation (yep, I saw it). Problem is, I work most weekends and this just happened to be one. It was also against some steep competition with Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby running against it. It was also not advertised as well or as heavily as the other films that are airing right now.

    I would see it because I like Kerry Washington and want to see her in another role besides the President's lover. I'll try to catch he film sometime soon, but if I go for the other big picks instead, then oh well.

  • l | May 12, 2013 7:20 PMReply

    I don't think fans of Kerry or Scandal have any interest in seeing Kerry with a black guy. I think most people find that completely unbelievable. If the male lead was a handsome young white man it would have done better.

  • Enuff | May 13, 2013 1:53 PM

    L I think your comments are over the top ridiculous that fans don't want to see Kerry with a black guy. What planet do you live on?

  • Valleygirl | May 12, 2013 11:17 PM

    Seriously because she wasn't with a white guy? Wow...She's been in so many different roles before Scandal. We are so quick to put actors and fans in a box.

  • ALM | May 12, 2013 10:26 PM

    Are you serious? It's the wrong guy.....his race isn't the issue. Kerry had plenty of chemistry with Jamie Foxx in "Ray".

  • BeautyIAM | May 12, 2013 8:52 PM

    Right...just like many Scandal fans were not checking for Django since she was paired with a black guy. Please sit down. Many people were not checking for the movie because it didn't look interesting or funny.

  • AccidentalVisitor | May 12, 2013 7:18 PMReply

    When I saw "Tyler Perry Presents" tag on it I knew it was not worth even a consideration. I think the WPost article this past Friday whih included a quote from Tambay perfectly summed up what's wrong with this film and black movies in general.

    As for "leading man" material....it's a comedy. Most comedians are not leading men by Hollywood's standards so I don't see why Robinson should be any different. Now if you wrote that he doesn't have star quality or is not interesting or funny on screen that would be a more important distinction.

  • sergio | May 12, 2013 8:20 PM

    Did you read the line in which I said clearly: "But he simply doesn’t have that “star quality” needed to play a lead role"

  • Monique a Williams | May 12, 2013 5:37 PMReply

    Tyler Perry's name and the wack marketing were an immediate signal to NOT see!

  • KBJr. | May 12, 2013 5:24 PMReply

    Honestly, I didn't even know this film was being released this weekend. I imagine I wasn't alone. Seriously, zero buzz, even on the blogs and social media. Something tells me these basement numbers are a bigger reflection of poor marketing than of the quality (or lack thereof) of this movie.

  • CareyCarey | May 12, 2013 5:04 PMReply

    POPPYCOCK-NONSENSE-BULLSHIT!

    Don't y'all ever get tired of blaming Tyler Perry for all the woes of black cinema? I mean, come on, the man had nothing to do with this films sad performance at the box office. But it's a wrap, I'm done, my faith in the black audience has been depleted. I am serious, even my man Sergio has let me down.

    Listen, I'd hate being a white producer because black folks baffle me. I know, I know, we're-not-a-monolithic-group but many of us don't know what the hell we want. I mean, on one hand there are those who talk bad about "Tyler's crowd", but praise Kerry Washington in Scandal. But did they support Kerry in "Peebles"? Hell no they didn't. Why? Maybe, just maybe, there wasn't enough nasty mess for that crowd? Maybe... since Kerry's lover was a single black man, they couldn't get with that? Or maybe, just maybe, the humor was too high-brow for THAT crowd?

    Shiiiiiiiit, my hat is tipped to the writers and the whole cast. This film, in my opinion, was the funniest and wittiest black comedy in years. And all the actors were superb. S. Epatha Mekerson killed it. Her comedic timing (which surprised me) showed she's a true professional. And Kerry Washington, although I am not a real fan of hers, carried this part to a tee. I believe, to some degree, her great performance was an extension of the writer and director (fine job).

    The kid from Everybody Hates Chris (Tyler James Williams) was very convincing as the "troubled" teenage little brother. And, although some cannot appreciate David Allen Grier's subtle excellence, his facial expressions and body language spoke to me. Conseuently, he cracked me up at least 10 times. Now Craig Robinson might not be a name most blacks run to, but the man is funny, and he didn't fail me.

    But again, in short, what the hell are black folks looking for? I know, we're-not-a-monolitic-group, but damn, where's the balance? I mean, can I cry one mo' time...

    Damn-Damn-Damn, my people, my people... MY PEOPLE, were forth art thou?

  • Valleygirl | May 12, 2013 11:33 PM

    Less we forget the major problem that it premiered on Mother's Day weekend and there are some mothers that rather do other things than go to the movies on their weekend. Just think it was a bad weekend to release the movie

  • CareyCarey | May 12, 2013 10:48 PM

    @ HAPPYBROWNGIRL, I'm with you, that whole series of scenes had me rolling (Craig Robinson questioning Kerry on her past sex partners, and the characters she dated) (The judge's nightly meetings scene *wink* lol). But I laughed out loud at several scenes. And, I had to elbow my brother (who does not do comedies) for laughing too damn loud and too long.

    @ ALM, did you see the movie? If not, what are you talking about? Unrealistic? Been done a million times? Excuse me, that's not the movie I saw. Please stay away from the sourpuss armchair critics.

    re: Kerry Washington, I believe I've seen every movie she made. Each has their good and bad points. So I would not say she has "nailed" every role she played. I will say Tina Gordon Chism writing was top notch and Kerry did a fine job in this role.

  • NO BRAINER | May 12, 2013 10:40 PM

    I agree ALM!

  • ALM | May 12, 2013 10:25 PM

    " since Kerry's lover was a single black man, they couldn't get with that?"

    It's not that fact that her love interest was a single black man. It's the fact that her love interest was the wrong single black man.

    "And Kerry Washington, although I am not a real fan of hers, carried this part to a tee. I believe, to some degree, her great performance was an extension of the writer and director (fine job)".

    Kerry's a pro all on her own. Look at her filmography. She has played a diverse array of characters since the beginning of her career, and she nails her role regardless of the writer/director of the material.

    "what the h*** are black folks looking for?"

    A realistic plot that has not been done a million times before

  • happybrowngirl | May 12, 2013 10:14 PM

    I just saw it tonight. I enjoyed it. I wanted to laugh more though, but, overall, really enjoyed it, especially the blackesque touches! Harriet Tubman!

  • Fellow Tyler Perry Apologist | May 12, 2013 5:11 PM

    I agree Carey!

  • D.C. Kirkwood | May 12, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    This should have come out on DVD or Lifetume. Quit playing!! This was not movie theater material.

  • JMac | May 12, 2013 3:18 PMReply

    I forgot Kerry Washington and Diahann Carroll was in this movie. The promos I saw were heavy on Tyler Perry's name, Craig Robinson and David Allen Grier. Maybe more people (= black women) would have ventured out to see it if the ads focused on the actresses... esp. considering it was opening Mother's Day weekend. The movie still would have been a let down but at least the opening numbers would have been better.

    Also might be due to Tyler Perry overload. Temptation hasn't been gone two months and here's another Tyler Perry branded film. Gotta space those suckers out. Black folks only have so much money they're willing to spend on movies.

  • AccidentalVisitor | May 12, 2013 7:22 PM

    Why would the ads focus on the actresses if they were nothing more than supporting-fodder? Besides the vast majority of comedies don't focus on actresses either. Typically doing so is not considered important when it comes to getting people to see a funny movie (or a movies hat's trying to be funny).

  • Ghost | May 12, 2013 3:14 PMReply

    Why it failed?

    Tyler Perry's name on it was a major turnoff for a lot of folks I know. Look at who the cast is-they all have names that folks know of. He didn't need his name on it just because it was filmed with his studios and stuff. Who else does that?

    Timing-4 of the cast has tv shows airing this season. Did any ad for these films every appear during the Office (Robinson), Our Missing (S. Epatha Mekerson), Scandal (Washington) or Go On (James Tyler Williams).

    This would have been better coming out during February when all 4 shows were still on the air. Not when the Office is done and Go On got axed the same day the film came out.

    In fact outside of Washington & Robinson-did any of the other cast promote this film?

    It is also Mother's Day weekend..

  • FactChecker | May 12, 2013 3:07 PMReply

    Some excellent spot on points made with regard to the marketing and the cast.
    And, NO, this movie was not marketed during any episodes of "Scandal." But Washington was out marketing the film, and was on Jimmy Kimmel last Thursday and I believe she and the cast of "Scandal" will be on GMA tomorrow or Tuesday.

    I like what someone said about it not being "low-brow" enough for TP's audiences. Can't say I disagree. What with it taking place in the Hamptons. Didn't know it had a "lesbian" subplot. ...

    Also, agree that no one was buying the relationship between Washington and Robinson, and that Robinson isn't on the radar of most black people (I was never a fan of "The Office" and don't know any black person who is).

    And, yes, putting TP's name all over everything hurt the marketing for moviegoers unfamiliar with his work and those who are familiar with his work.

    Bottomline: The trailers didn't look funny.

    Finally, I will be VERY interested to see what the numbers are when his two TV shows premiere, in two weeks, on OWN during memorial day weekend.

  • K | May 12, 2013 8:43 PM

    Hey I am black fan of The Office. And Parks and Recreation. And Community. And I do know Craig because of The Office. Or at least I really know him because of The Office.

  • Correction | May 12, 2013 8:03 PM

    I've seen the trailer for the movie air twice during Scandal -two different episodes. I only saw the trailers airing around two weeks before the release date though. I think they were really trying to get rhe big names out there to promote the movie.

  • saadiyah | May 12, 2013 4:27 PM

    Kerry Washington was/is marketing the heck out this film!! Lord knows I love me some Kerry, but I was not buying a relationship between her and Craig Robinson's character. That was the first mistake the creators of "Peeples' made. Hopefully Kerry and Craig both get another shot at a comedic movie with better material.
    *************
    Finally for the umpteenth time, "THE TRAILERS/CLIPS HINTED AT A VERY UNFUNNY MOVIE." I was actually cringing at some of the "jokes."

  • DJ | May 12, 2013 3:02 PMReply

    What happened was nobody wanted to see an "urban" Meet the Parents knockoff.

  • Timothy | May 12, 2013 2:44 PMReply

    Because people are tired of Tyler Perry and his hackneyed productions. Duh.

  • Enuff | May 13, 2013 2:03 PM

    Tim maybe you are tired of Perry's movies; but NOT all people are tired of ALL his movies. I stopped doing Madea a long time ago; but I go to see Perry's other movies. Stop trying to speak for everyone

  • Miles Ellison | May 12, 2013 2:54 PM

    That doesn't explain why Temptation made the money it did. People are far from tired of Perry's creation/production/writing/directing of assembly-line cinematic drivel. I find it hard to believe that this movie was so much worse than all the others he's produced, directed, and written. Quality has never been the selling point of a Tyler Perry production. My guess is the problem was the absence of a certain gun-toting cross dressing mammy, the lack of a pseudo-spiritual moral message, and little promotion. I don't remember seeing any ads for this.

  • And | May 12, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    Not many peeples be interested in dis here mooby...lol...sorry, I couldn't resist.

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