The results are in. You might not have a taste for this truth, but you’re going to eat it today.
First, let’s get this out the way. Tyler Perry’s movie grossed nearly $30 million during opening weekend. In contrast, Birth of a Nation grossed $7 million on its opening weekend.
As the two movies compare, it’s amazing how we want progress but will support everything else over “substance.”
Now that Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween has shown its opening weekend results, the real truth shows itself regarding those supposed excuses.
One thing “white media” won’t lie about is the group of facts that will demean a Black movie’s performance. And, that’s the point you’ve missed. Let’s break down the excuses, shall we?
1. “Birth of a Nation wasn’t playing in many theaters.”
True. Nate Parker’s movie didn’t have as many screen opportunities as other movies. Yet, according to Tyler Perry, neither did Boo! A Madea Halloween.
Like Birth of a Nation, Perry’s movie was showcased in predominantly African-American demographic areas, as reports Collider. “Madea” says that there’s still much trouble getting “her” movies played in “white neighborhoods.” Tyler Perry notes the following statements.
“I still have issues getting screens in white neighborhoods believe it or not. I think the numbers could have been bigger had people who are in the white suburbs had the option to go to their own theaters to see it. It’s something I’ve been dealing with for many many years.”
According to the source, Tyler’s Madea movie opened in 2,260 theaters.
Keep in mind that Perry’s film beat out Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher 2, even though Reacher had 1,500 more screens at 3,780.
In case you want to act like you don’t know who is the famous Tom Cruise.
Deadline reports that initially, Nate Parker’s film was supposed to open in 1,500 theaters only. However, the source notes that Searchlight bumped it up to 2,105 after some extensive negotiations between parties.
So, you mean to tell me that 155 theaters made a $21 million difference between Perry’s and Parker’s opening weekends?
Of course not, right? There were other factors at play.
2. “The Black community only makes up 13 percent of the population.”
Ah, yes. This is true as well.
“As only 13 percent of the population, how is the Black community suppose to solely determine how well the movie does?”
Yet, one thing that we — as the Black community — highly boasts is that we have $1.1 trillion of buying power within the United States’ economy.
"Out of our $1.1 trillion buying power, only 2% is invested in black-owned businesses." - @TheBlackWallSt— modupe (@leah_ohh) September 20, 2016
We don’t have these particular complaints when it comes to buying Jordans, now do we? Yes. This truth is hard to swallow, I know.
According to The Wrap, Lionsgate left all kinds of money on the table by not targeting Caucasian communities.
Although Boo! A Madea Halloween has better crossover figures than Birth of a Nation, the same percentages were rendered for both movies.
In both Nate Parker’s and Tyler Perry’s movies, according to the aforementioned sources, 60 percent of ticket sales were from African-Americans, while other ethnicities comprised the other 40 percent.
To break it down further, that means that 60 percent of $28.7 million came from Blacks. That’s $17.2 million in African-American support.
Likewise, 60 percent of $7 million was rendered. That’s $4.2 million. And with it being close to $14 million gross now, at 60 percent, that still means that Blacks have contributed to Perry’s opening weekend at twice the overall support Birth of a Nation has received.
3. “Ever considered that people couldn’t because of Hurricane Matthew?”
Although Matthew definitely did its damage and those who were truly affected by the hurricane have reason to have missed Nate Parker’s movie, that only accounts for a very small percentage of the United States and its Black population.
That’s like someone from Georgia saying they didn’t go to work due to an earthquake in California. Makes zero sense.
There’s nothing else to say about that. It’s a geographically illogical argument.
4. “I don’t support rapists.”
Entertainment Weekly mentions that Parker feels that journalists were brutality bias in their reporting.
Distractive journalism made headlines about Parker’s rape case, but it never included in headlines that he was also acquitted.
1) I won't support a rapist— ???????? Fahva Ty ???????? (@Ro_YaL_TY) October 23, 2016
2) even if y'all go see Birth of a Nation y'all still won't want to educate yourselves further.
3) I like madea. pic.twitter.com/vDj3dU3txi
Why? According to Poynter Institute, most people usually just pay attention to headlines and introductory paragraphs.
After that, most readers feel like they have all the information they need to form a well-supported opinion.
Anyone ever stop to think why — for Birth of a Nation, specifically — Nate’s case raised from the ashes?
What about all the other movies in which he’s played a role since that case? Why did it not show as an issue then?
And, don’t even get me started on all the unprecedented support R. Kelly has continued to receive.
As aforementioned, you fell for the “dirty distraction.”
5. “He’s using Black women to advance his career.”
You’ll always miss the message while trying to focus on the messenger.
Many are upset that Parker has dated non-African-American women.
It doesn’t matter one red cent that Nate Parker has been in relationships with women of other ethnicities.
Its not Nate Parker's fault youre single, miserable with no prospects for a happy relationship. Ger a life.— Kryptonite (@Krypsim) October 3, 2016
So have Taye Diggs, Idris Elba, and so many others. Yet, no one is boycotting their movies, right?
Imma say this again.— Lady Midnight (@Dyani_2u) October 3, 2016
Nate Parker was relationship goals when yall went to see "Beyond the Lights" Now yall boycotting? ????????
And like Nate Parker, neither one of them had endorsements from Oprah. So, stop saying it’s because he didn’t accept Oprah’s help.
Oprah doesn’t spend your money; you do.
And, it’s very obvious that many didn’t mind spending it on Tyler Perry’s comedy; about 17.2 million times as obvious.
No More Blame Game
Black community, you can’t blame “white media” for pointing out the facts — no matter how unfavorable. Follow the money — your money.
All excuses are null and void at this point.
In a previous article, you might have disagreed with the notion that Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation had flopped and that you fell for the “dirty distraction.”
This was expected, given that many people possibly commented based on the title alone and didn’t bother to read the article before giving their two cents.
But, you best believe that the feedback was mostly negative — and filled to the brim with excuses as to why it may or may not have flopped.
Yet, compared to Tyler Perry’s movie — concerning support from the Black community — it did flop. Not because he barely recouped his revenue, but because it’s more than apparent that we could’ve done so much better.
[Featured Image by Astrid Stawiarz/Kevin Winter/Getty Images]