Tyler Perry Titles Sell 2.3 Million1 Jul, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Scene from Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Acclaimed urban playwright Tyler Perry's rising star got another big lift June 28 when a bundle of DVDs released by Lions Gate Home Entertainment sold 2.3 million copies in a single day, the studio reported.
Most of the demand was for the film Diary of a Mad Black Woman, the surprise theatrical hit that opened at No. 1 last February, with $21.9 million, and has since grossed more than $50 million, nearly 10 times its $5.5 million budget. Diary was adapted by Perry from his play of the same name.
Also part of that Tuesday's sales tally were DVDs of four of Perry's plays, all of them released directly to video. The plays are Madea's Class Reunion, Madea's Family Reunion, I Can Do Bad All by Myself and Meet the Browns.
“Tyler Perry is a true phenomenon, the strength of which continues to surprise even us,” said Steve Beeks, president of Lions Gate Entertainment. “It's amazing. I was at Wal-Mart, and there were six pallets. By noon, two were empty, and the other four were half-full. We've got retailers screaming for more product. We placed a healthy number at street date, and now we've got production lines running at full capacity to fill reorders.”
Lions Gate also has home video distribution rights to three more of Perry's plays, and will produce and distribute Perry's second movie adaptation, Madea's Family Reunion, which is scheduled to go into production July 11 for a February 2006 theatrical release. The film marks Perry's directorial debut.
In other studio news, Lions Gate Home Entertainment early next year will release Amazing Screw-On Head, adapted from the critically acclaimed comic book by Mike Mignola.
Slated to premiere during the quarter as a potential series on the Sci Fi Channel, the 30-minute pilot is about a secret agent robot that screws his head onto a variety of bodies to combat villains. It is currently in production and features the voices of Paul Giamatti (Sideways), David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier”) and Molly Shannon (“Saturday Night Live”).
DVD releases of Saw, The Punisher, Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper, Open Water and Godsend, among others, helped Lions Gate Home Entertainment post fiscal 2005 revenue (ended March 31) of $465.3 million, up 108 percent from $223.4 million during the same period last year.
Overall, Lions Gate Entertainment reported net income of $20.3 million for the fiscal year compared to a net loss of $92.1 million during the same period last year. Revenue for the year was $842.6 million, up 124 percent from $375.9 million last year.