What in the hell happened with For Colored Girls?
Now of course all films fall off the following weeks of their release. A drop-off of 30% or less in the second week of release is considered very good, between 40-50% fair and anything over 50% is considered bad news. So it’s not great news for Tyler Perry and Lionsgate that FCG’s second weekend numbers dropped a whopping 65% from the previous week. That’s the biggest drop for any of his films and quite surprising.
That means that word-of-mouth for the film is dreadful. But why? Some theories…
Bad reviews – Are you kidding? When have bad reviews ever kept people from seeing a TP movie? In fact even though FCG did get some bad reviews, it also garnered some of the best reviews for any TP film so that doesn’t hold.
Too depressing – True, it’s definitely not a feel-good movie and then neither was Precious (even more so) and that did extremely well at the box office.
Bad marketing/ Too wide a release – Taking a tip from Precious perhaps FCG should have been rolled out slowly, city by city, theater by theater to get the word out that this wasn’t your typical TP movie to get people used to the idea, instead of the wide theatrical release that it got.
No Oprah push- Until Tambay pointed this out to me this weekend, I didn’t realize that Oprah did not devote an entire show to the film. I simply assumed that she had. Why didn’t she? Instead she devoted two complete shows with Perry and the trauma of male child molestation. What does that have to do with the movie? Maybe she really doesn’t like the film (though at one time she was supposed to play Phylicia Rashad’s part in the movie)
It wasn’t what people expected - Perhaps the most likely answer is that people went in expecting to see another typical TP movie and instead got something a whole lot more strange and difficult to grasp. And keeping in mind that Ntozake Shange’s work is now 35 years old, and that there are many people not familiar with it, the jarring transitions from dialogue to poetry were too weird, and the relentless grimness was too much, and made them uncomfortable.
However the worst thing is that the b.o. disappointment for FCG will inevitably means one sure thing…more Madea! What’s your take?
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