Things are not so much of a drag today for Tyler Perry as they were just a few years ago: his Madea’s Family Reunion held the top spot at the box office during its second weekend of release, bringing in around $13 million. Conversely, at the beginning of the decade, he wasn’t in such great shape, as he told Starpulse of his theater days:
“I had everything, all of my money, tied up into the first production. I was hoping I would see 1,200 people and 30 showed up. I had the rent payment, the car payment, everything tied up into the show… I rolled the dice one too many times. I had my car because they couldn’t find it… It was up for repossession… They couldn’t find me, It was a Geo Metro. I couldn’t afford to pay for a by-the-week hotel.”
“I feel like I’m growing into the ability to play roles like Jack Mosley in ’16 Blocks.’ What I mean by that is 10 years ago I don’t think I would have been able to play him with the kind of layering that I think I was able to get to,” he says, then jokes: “Maybe I didn’t get to the layering.”
Audiences disagreed, and sent only about $11.7 million his way, even though the film was playing on 500 more screens that Madea. Die hard, indeed.