Academy Awards heavyweights such as George Clooney and Cate Blanchett were no match for another of Tyler Perry's populist tales. The Lionsgate release "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?", a marital yarn whose ensemble cast includes Janet Jackson, Malik Yoba, Jill Scott and writer-director Perry, debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $21.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Perry's flick came in well ahead of Clooney's legal drama "Michael Clayton," Blanchett's historical pageant "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," and Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg's crime saga "We Own the Night," which all pulled in modest crowds. Though "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls" had a so-so opening earlier this year, "Why Did I Get Married?" joined his previous hits "Madea's Family Reunion" and "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," which also opened at No. 1.
"Why Did I Get Married?" follows the domestic trials of couples re-evaluating their relationships during an annual reunion.
"Tyler Perry is a mogul," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "There is a built-in audience base for Tyler Perry's movies, no matter what time of year, no matter what the subject matter."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.
2. "The Game Plan," $11.5 million.
3. "Michael Clayton," $11.01 million.
4. "We Own the Night," $11 million.
5. "The Heartbreak Kid" $7.4 million.
6. "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," $6.2 million.
7. "The Kingdom" $4.6 million.
8. "Across the Universe," $4 million.
9. "Resident Evil: Extinction," $2.65 million.
10. "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising," $2.15 million.