question of the day: Is Tucker Max the next Tyler Perry?

Dan Kois at New York magazine’s Vulture blog wonders about Tucker Max’s destiny:

Max, when asked after a screening what mainstream studios think of him and his movie, answered, “No one in Hollywood gives a shit about us until we make money.” And in that respect, if his movie succeeds and becomes even a modest hit, he has set himself up for a particular kind of success. He’s set himself up to become the next Tyler Perry.

And like Perry, Max serves a niche audience that major studios can have trouble reaching. In Perry’s case, it was middle-class blacks, a group Hollywood had mostly given up on. For the young people who make up Max’s fan base, that’s never been an issue; in fact, you might complain that nearly every movie made today is designed to appeal to under-25s. But they’re an audience that’s never been big on brand loyalty, and Max is one of the first entertainers to capture and hold their attention on the Internet — and then translate that attention into real kids spending real dollars. (His book has spent years on the Times best-seller list, and, according to Max, his publisher, Citadel, printed its millionth copy this summer.) Like Tyler Perry, Tucker Max is a brand — a name with real resonance among his target audience, which views him as a “hero,” as one fan told the L.A. Times.

Can there possibly be a Tyler Perry-type filmmaker who caters to audiences that Hollywood is already catering to? Could I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell really be the vanguard of a new kind of movie appealing to young people? Max apparently thinks so (according to Vulture):

“Hollywood has been trying to do a guy movie for 30 years, and they’ve never really gotten it,” he says. “They’re all lame.”

What do you think? Is Tucker Max the next Tyler Perry?

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Fri, Sep 25, 2009 9:13am

Well Max certainly hopes to be the next Tyler Perry in terms of ticket sales, but I’m not really sure what he means by “guy movies.” Is Conan the Destroyer a guy movie? What about Aliens? Swingers? Air Force One? Clerks? Fist of Legend? The Godfather? Kill Bill? Seven Samurai? Debbie Does Dallas?

I mean, everyone has a pretty clear idea of what a “chick flick” is in terms of plot and tone, but hasn’t Hollywood assumed for most of the past 30 years that almost every movie that isn’t a chick flick or a children’s movie is a “guy movie?” Is there a certain percentage of men in the audience that you have to hit before your film officially reaches guy movie status? Does the movie have to actively objectify women or can it simply marginalize its female characters? Is it possible for a guy movie to star a woman if she fulfills certain requirements? (topless scene, revealing outfit, not too smart or old, etc.) The term “guy movie” seems vague to the point of uselessness at this point (hopefully, I can say the same thing about the term chick flick in a few years).

Accounting Ninja
Accounting Ninja
Fri, Sep 25, 2009 9:46am

Seems to me that “guy movie” nowadays means “actively misogynist”. Seems like the more a movie puts down the biatches (also: groin shots), the more cred it gets. I mean, dudebro comedies have been ragingly popular since, well, Animal House. If those were all “lame”, I surmise that the only difference is that Max’s stories are more shameless and relentless in their misogyny.

And that makes Accounting Ninja a sad panda.

Fri, Sep 25, 2009 12:08pm

I’ve never even heard of this guy (I’m 35, so I guess I’m not hip enough. …Do kids still use that word? “Hip?” ;)). From what I can tell, as a “guy” myself, the way he’s using the term suggests to me that I’d be offended to be lumped in the category given what he thinks guys all like.

“I used to be “with it,” but then they changed with “it” was! Now what I’m with isn’t it! And what IS it seems strange and scary to me! It’ll happen to yoooouu…”

Fri, Sep 25, 2009 5:12pm

A guy movie? I thought all action movies and gross out comedies were guy movies. So now a guy movie is, what, a movie a girl would slap a boy silly for taking her to?

Tucker Max is a hero? And I thought the discussion with Jolly was depressing me.

Fri, Sep 25, 2009 10:45pm

I don’t believe this guy’s following is as huge as seems to be implied. I’ve barely heard of him, and no one I know has heard of him at all. Maybe its the company I keep, but I expect this to bomb. He just sounds like a terrible person in real life…

Sat, Sep 26, 2009 7:33am

Yeah… likewise… I feel like I’m being expected to know who this person is without him having done anything to properly enter the public domain. Maybe a sex tape or something?

They’re marketing this movie like it’s The Hangover, and it’s not gonna make anywhere near that kind of money because just by the trailer you can tell it sucks.

Sat, Sep 26, 2009 4:43pm

Our country is so huge that it’s not surprising anymore to never have heard of someone who is supposed to be famous. There are entire elements of American culture that I’m surprised exist but there they are anyway. I never heard of drum corps until my brother joined one; how did I miss over 100 marching bands (100+ kids each) practicing and competing all summer all over the country? How do you not notice marching bands?

Sat, Sep 26, 2009 5:45pm

Interestingly my brother was also on drumline. But I get what you’re saying, about pockets of recognition. I just think for a movie to make large amounts of money based off someone’s name alone, that person probably should exist in most of those pockets.