February 20, 2009
Can Tyler Perry sell his movies overseas?
Best wishes to Perry, but if Canada -- where I live -- is anything to go by, finding an audience outside the United States may be something of an uphill struggle; after releasing his first few films more or less nationwide, the distributor here hasn't even bothered to release the last few movies outside of a few cities in Ontario and the Maritimes, i.e. places with a relatively strong black population.
According to CinemaClock.com, the trend will continue with Madea Goes to Jail, which is playing in only two Canadian cities -- or five, if you count Toronto suburbs Brampton, Burlington and Mississauga as separate cities -- compared to "1369 cities across the U.S.A."
Compounding matters is the fact that Perry's movies often have a pronounced faith element, and films that treat Christian themes explicitly tend to do proportionately less well overseas than they do in the United States.