'Boo!' is distraction America needs - Tyler Perry

November 02, 2016
Tyler Perry portrays Madea in a scene from Tyler Perry's 'Boo! A Madea Halloween'.

ATLANTA (AP):

Tyler Perry felt more grateful than surprised after his latest Madea movie topped the North American box office for a second straight week.

Boo! A Madea Halloween took the No. 1 spot, earning more than $17.2 million on the weekend for a two-week total of $52.6 million. His comedy horror film featuring a tough-talking grandmother topped Tom Hanks' Inferno, Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Ben Affleck's The Accountant.

Perry said he felt confident about the film after his "Madea on the Run" tour drew diverse crowds.

"I would go out to certain parts of the country and the audience was 50 per cent black and 50 per cent other, which is a total change for me," Perry told The Associated Press in a recent interview. He introduced the Madea character in the 1999 play, I Can Do Bad All by Myself.

"When I first started, it was 100 per cent black," he said. "I knew something had changed drastically with Madea. To see it show up in the box office, to see what I already saw in theatres, it's very powerful. I'm grateful. Eighteen years. That character. People still love the franchise. Who knew?"

Perry said the timing was right for the release of Boo!

"What this country needed more than anything after all this political campaign, all those police shootings and all this hatred, the country needed a laugh," he said. "I think with the success of Madea, it speaks to the opportunity of laughing rather than going heavy. The timing is what it is."

Perry said the idea for the film came from a joke in Chris Rock's 2014 movie, Top Five.

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