Married To The Top

Once again, Tyler Perry has had the last laugh. The writer-director-star, whose films are generally panned by critics and dismissed by box-office analysts, saw his latest comedy, Why Did I Get Married?, top the box office with an estimated $21.5 million, taking in nearly twice as much as the No. 2 film, The Game Plan, which earned $11.5 million in its third week. Meanwhile, George Clooney's critically acclaimed legal drama Michael Clayton, which had been the expected winner, wound up instead with about $11 million, tying for third in the initial estimates with the crime drama We Own the Night. "This is the last time that anyone will underestimate Tyler Perry," Lions Gate distribution chief Tom Ortenberg told the Los Angeles Times. "Tyler's message of family values and personal redemption speaks very strongly to people who are not frequent moviegoers." (Perry's films appeal mostly to older black churchgoers; almost 90 percent of Married's ticket buyers were black.) Ortenberg made similar comments in other interviews, and in one with USA Today added, "It has been fun confounding the experts."



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