Tiffany and Aday sneak off to the party but Madea sees through the scheme after finding pillows placed under the blankets to look as if they are sleeping (something I’ve done plenty of times and that only works half of the time). Madea searches for Tiffany but her friends and Jonathan both lie to cover for her. Madea shuts the party down but is thrown out by the partygoers into the bushes and leaves defeated. However, one of the frat brothers discovers that Aday is underage and throws her out of the party which is then shut down again when Bam calls the police due to Tiffany being underage. The frat brothers realize that Madea and her friends are the ones behind it and decide to prank them back by scaring them, unaware that Aday has been hiding behind the outside staircase and overheard their entire plan.
Madea's car breaks down up the road and the three are pursued by the rest of the frat and partygoers who are posing as zombies that chase them down. Madea goes into the church (that’s not a typo, Madea goes into a church and its not a wedding or funeral) and get saved, believing that the things she is seeing are punishment for her sins. Aday's father and Aday reveal to Madea that all of the things happening were pranks being played on them by the frat brothers as revenge for shutting down the party. Aday, her father, Hattie, Bam and Madea decide to prank the brothers back.
Brian is also called back into town to deal with Tiffany for sneaking off (if he was able to get home so fast, why didn’t he just work from home?) It is clear Tiffany has zero respect for Brian as a parent due to him being a pushover and refusing to discipline his kids the same way he was raised by Joe. Madea, Hattie and Bam begin to pack Tiffany's clothes up in bags to throw her out of the house. This plan works and Tiffany and Brian lay their feelings out (SPOILER ALERT FOR ANY REAL TYLER PERRY FANS WHO HAS BEEN WATCHING HIS FILMS AND PLAY SINCE DAY 1) about Brian's recovering crack head wife cheating on him and him being a pushover. Brian, finally toughening up, participates in helping to throw her out and exclaims that she can either live there with him, abiding by his rules or go out on the street on her own. Tiffany apologizes to Brian and the women for her behavior and agrees to listen to her father's rules. Afterwards, the police return to Brian's house looking for Tiffany, revealing to her that her best friend, Aday has gone missing. They then take her with them and handcuff her.
The next day, the police knock on the door of the frat house and one of the brothers discovers the body of Aday with her throat slit in the basement. The brothers are arrested after the police find Aday's body and they are all placed on a prison bus along with her and Aday's friends, Rain and Leah. A brawl breaks out on the bus with the prisoners, scaring everyone including Jonathan. Aday comes out of the house and everything is revealed to be a prank with Jonathan apologizing as well. Madea, much to her shock, learns that Brian called in actual police officers, one of which recognizes Madea. Madea, Jonathan and the rest of the frat brothers flee from the officers as the film ends.
The banter between the cast was similar to the stage play, the bloopers were alternate takes of improvise lines, though I loved every minute, it felt longer than expected. I got there late and I still got to see 90 minutes worth of Madea, it was like it was never going to end (but Im not complaining). In the plays we know there’s a guy under the dress but this is the first time I’ve seen it happen in the film, multiple times. I heard a white boy reference it as “Halloween with the klumps”. You can kind of tell it was shot in only 6 days, feels like a half tv show, half one man show but I applaud Tyler. At this point it wont be long til he’s cranking out films like Roger Corman, Cannon Films or even The Aslyum. Don’t knock them. They had a product for a certain demographic and gave the people what they thought they wanted. The editing was better than his previous films but the camera movements, direction and blocking are as simple as TV. I wish someone in his team would give him some new ideas on how to transition through scenes. Watching the films of Edgar Wright, there’s defiantly funny and creative ways to leave and lead into the next scene but Im sure his team is probably afraid to say something and lose their job over it. Tyler don’t report to studio shareholders, he is the studio shareholder and who ever has the gold makes the rules in Hollywood. They just follow instructions and do what they are told (Hey Tyler, just in case you read this and I do end up working at your studio, please don’t fire me. Im truly speaking here as a fan who thinks we can take this to a whole other level).
There’s so many reasons why this film beats Tom Cruise doing what he does best. Madea Fans were anxiously waiting. We are now seven movies in and most of those films grossed nearly $400 million domestically in total on a 20 million budget (on the latest productions). His first film was shot only for 5 million (which is low budget compared to these 100 million dollar blockbusters) and his stage plays were $100K, ($45K went to advertising, the other rent to paying the venue, cast, crew, etc) and I read before he could get funding, homeless and sleeping in his car, he saved up for his first stage productions which was around $25k. Fast forward to the present where he has directed over 40 projects (including TV and stage plays DVDs) he now has millions of fans waiting for new installments, and this film is three years late after 2013’s “A Madea Christmas.” “There was pent up anticipation to see the film,” David Spitz, president of domestic theatrical distribution at Lionsgate, told TheWrap.
Tyler also did a “Tonight Show” skit in which Jimmy Fallon portrayed Donald Trump calling up Madea on the phone and it went viral, amassing 71.3 million views collectively on Facebook and YouTube. Im surprise Youtube Red didn’t try to get the rights from Lionsgate for this film because many of the stars are popular youtubers. The amount of social media stars in this film Boosted ‘Boo!’ You had Bella Thorne, Yousef Erakat, Liza Koshy, Diamond White, Lexy Panterra, Jimmy Tatro, Kian Lawley, Jc Caylen, Mike Tornabene and Brock O’Hurn, who all promoted the movie to their combined fan base of 100 million on social media, as well participated in fan Q&As.
There is a lesson here. Since his early plays, Tyler would get musical acts into his productions like singers from Silk and Blackstreet and made stars out of people you rarely see like David and Tamela Mann from the Kirk Franklin gospel group. Even his shows featured dudes like Allen Payne who most haven’t seen outside New Jack City, CB4 or Blue Hill Avenue. You surround yourself or your characters with recognizable faces. TV and film actors of yesteryears, rappers, singers, youtubers, twerkers and porn stars (Temptations did have a porn star in the film).. if Tyler can cast them and succeed, you can too! It helps to get a name on board. It’s important when it comes to marketing.
Speaking of marketing, the timing was perfect for this film! Beyond the fact that this holiday-themed comedy came out a week before Halloween, the paranormal aspect that was marketed couldn’t have been better timed, given the popularity of scary summer movies, including “Don’t Breathe” and “Lights Out.” We spent the WHOLE summer getting scared by ghosts, and now we were told Madea would be fighting ghouls and was ready to laugh at the spooky genre. Especially with all these clown sightings, it was a matter of time until we saw someone fighting back on the big screen. Beside Kevin Hart’s What Now, there aren’t a lot of other comedies in theaters right now leaving Tyler to dominate. It’s crazy how he still can’t get his film played in white neighborhoods.
During an interview with The Wrap, he said he’s still having issues getting screens in white neighborhoods having 1,500 less screens than Jack Reacher. According to Box Office Mojo, A Madea Halloween opened in 2,260 theaters across the country, while the Jack Reacher sequel was in 3,780 theaters. Lionsgate told the site that they stand by the decision to release the film in less theaters, noting how 60% of people who saw it were African American. That would explain why white kids came to the hood to see Madea. People love Madea. She’s a crowd-pleaser. The film increased 24 percent this weekend in box office grosses. That percentage increase is on the high end of Perry films, according to Lionsgate’s Spitz. The number is even higher for the guys who own the theaters (but we’ll save the conversation for another blog).
Noticing Tyler Perry’s productions on TV, you realize he appeals to a diverse audience. This film has crossover appeal as 60 percent of audiences this weekend were African American and the other 40 percent were Caucasian, Asian and Latino. In the past, “Madea” movies usually attract a black audiences — around 80 to 90 percent, typically, according to Lionsgate. He’s giving the Wayan Brothers a run for their money. He’s beating Eddie murphy and Adam Sandler at their own game. Tyler do have a built in audience. We come for his establish brand of storytelling.
One of the reasons why I go to see Tyler Perry films is for the motivation that I can do it too! I went to his studio in person and as a black filmmaker myself, driving up to those gates is a powerful experience to see. To see that it was real, not something in my mind or on TV but a real life black own studio of a filmmaker who produces his own material and own his copyrights... it’s aspiring. Spielberg don’t even own all the rights of his productions. Look at the history of black filmmakers and you can’t tell me that it’s not possible. Especially in the age of DIY filmmaking, Social Media and online distribution and VOD.
Think about the Micheaux Book and Film Company Although the film company was very short-lived, Oscar Micheaux is credited for being the first major African American film maker, and the most successful filmmaker during the first half of the 20th century. The Lincoln Motion Picture Company was the very first all-black movie production company in the country, founded in 1916 by the Johnson brothers, Noble and George. Everything the brothers put out was directed with African American viewers in mind. They would show their movies in churches and small assembly halls. Although they didn’t last very long, the company was able to produce and distribute five films, they paved the way for future African American film makers that would hit the scene in the future like CodeBlack Entertainment, the first independent, vertically integrated film studio owned by an African American or Open Rivers Pictures which made history as the first African American, female owned studio for film and television,
Although Oprah is closing her film production studio, Harpo was behind big named feature films such as Beloved, Precious, and Selma. Tim Reid (Ray of Sister, Sister, “WKRP in Cincinnati”) and his wife, Daphne Maxwell Reid, established New Millennium Studios in Petersberg, Va., in 1997 and ran the 60-acre studio until its sale last year. Robert Townsend (“Hollywood Shuffle”) purchased a campus, Hollywood Professional School, in 1990 and renamed it Tinsel Townsend Studios. (The facility was destroyed in an earthquake in the mid 1990s.)
The incredible thing about Tyler is that no other African American has had something of this size, of this degree, without a partnership or conglomerate or some major company behind it. Consider the size of other major studios. Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank rests on 145 acres. Burbank’s Walt Disney Studios, which serves as both the corporate headquarters and the filming base for several film and TV productions, sits on 51 acres. Tyler has 330 acres.
Even Kevin hart is buying sound stages for his own productions and starting his own streaming service like Netflix for Stand up comedy called Loud Out Loud (LOL) Network. With Robert Rodriguez having El Rey, Vince Mcmahon with WWE app, Oprah & discovery communication with OWN, Diddy with Revolt and Tyler Perry thinking of doing his own network, its possible to go online and create your own network. Look at Blackandsexytv.
That’s the direction we need to head to because I can’t stream Fresh Prince on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Instant Video or any legal subscription service, for that matter. I read online it’s available on Netflix internationally, but not in the united states. You also can’t stream Martin, or Family Matters, or Sister, Sister, or The Steve Harvey Show, or Moesha or smart guy, the famous Jett Jackson(R.I.P), Kenan and Kel, Parent Hood, (I could go on all day). The 90’s and early 2000, is the golden era for black representation on television. I saw 17 scripted shows that had predominantly black casts and ended up producing at least 100 episodes, the typical amount needed to make syndication. I only found three of them available on major streaming services: A Different World on Netflix, and In Living Color and The Cosby Show on Hulu.
I can find Saved by the Bell, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, That ’70s Show, the X files (don’t get me wrong, I love those shows), Dawson’s Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Twin Peaks, they all there. They are even rebooting some of those series like Full house and Gilmore girls. You would think with hits like Atlanta, Power, Empire and Black-ish, we the viewers have proved (again) that programming led by black casts can attract large audiences. Eight of those 17 long-running black ’90s shows were produced or distributed by Warner Bros., and none of them are streaming. Maybe they think traditional television is where black shows will perform better. In 2013, Warners inked a deal to air reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show, and The Wayans Bros. on BET. “These deals are negotiated by the distributors,” says John Bowman, a co creator of Martin. I guess they don’t notice how well Luke Cage and The Get Down did on Netflix.
So in this case, you got to be a Byron Allen who became a billionaire and cutting out the middle man, producing his own content, licensing it to the network for free and get half of advertising which Byron himself went after and attracted to the point where he has several different networks now. It’s a beautiful time to be a black filmmaker. Unless you’re Nate Parker (watch my vlog to get on that subject). Hollywood never focus on the black community. Look back during the 70’s when they were losing money on production after productions and saw the success of Melvin Van Peebles Sweet Sweetback Bad Ass Song, they jumped on the black exploitation film wave until they can get money to produce Star Wars, Jaws, The Godfather, the towering inferno and other disaster films of that era. I think we’re back at that point again. Hollywood keep flopping. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas both came out to say Hollywood is bout to go through a depression if they keep making these 100 million dollar movies. Disney lost money on their adaption of “The BFG” and sony lost big time on Ghostbusters!
Paramount didn’t even have a hit this year. Hollywood is sucking China’s dick to keep money coming in. The Chinese box office is very important. In 2018, it is predicted that movie ticket sales in China will surpass those of the United States for the first time. Furthermore, with theaters rapidly opening across China’s countryside, giving its population (more than a billion people) access to the big screen, it is predicted that the already high cinema revenue will double by 2023.
The amount of influence that the Chinese market have is incredible. The AMC Movie Theater chain (where I saw Madea and most other films)is owned by the China based Dalian Wanda Group. Dalian Wanda Group, like many supposedly private corporations in China, does not function according to the laws of the market. That’s why we got Matt Damon protecting the great wall of China and the first live action pokemon movie isn’t about what we saw on the american TV show and games but based on a best selling detective game in China but with Jay Z producing Richard Pryor biopic, John legend producing “monster” adaption , The Rock Producing Jumanji, John Boyega producing Pacfic Rim 2, Micheal B jordan and Idris Elbla both starting a production company, DeVon Franklin getting an Overall Deal with 20th Century Fox (who is also in development for Franklin is the highly-anticipated remake of the 1975 classic film COOLEY HIGH at MGM), Tariq Nasheed with the Hidden Color Series and Producers like Will Packer making deals with Universal, I think it’s safe to say we won’t be left out anytime soon.
I still have dreams of what life would of been like if Micheal Jackson got to follow his dreams to act, produce, star in and direct movies, creating a Walt Disney/Dreamworks like studio (with the rights to Marvel he couldn’t get and the publishing company that sony just bought for over 700 million). Micheal didn’t get to follow his filmmaking dreams. You still can. Do it for Mike. Get a camera and tell your stories.