Tyler Perry beats George Clooney at the US box office

Though his films rarely see the light of day over here – only one (Madea’s Family Reunion) has made it into cinemas to date – Tyler Perry has built a massive following in the States with his blend of gospel homilies, family values and rom com style.

His latest, Why Did I Get Married is another prattle of the sexes, starring walking wardrobe malfunction Janet Jackson. Despite the presence of some heavyweight competition from George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Cate Blanchett, Perry’s latest scooped the top spot with $21.5 million according to studio estimates.

In second place, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Disney comedy The Game Plan held on to its family audience, grabbing $11.5 million. That meant that the week’s prestige pics had to settle for places further down the chart. George Clooney’s latest, legal conspiracy thriller Michael Clayton, arrived in third with $11 million.

James Gray’s We Own The Night, with Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg as warring brothers on either side of the crime line, could only scratch up $7.4 million for fourth. Fifth place went to The Heartbreak Kid, which took a tumble down to $6.2 million in tickets.

There was worse news for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, as Shekhar Kapur’s follow-up to his 1998 Oscar-blagger faced a mixed critical reaction and a distinct lack of interest from US cinemagoers. The royal rumble only took in $6.1 million, despite opening in almost as many cinemas as Perry’s movie. That sum would probably cover Cate Blanchett’s costume budget.

The Kingdom was also falling, down to seventh place from third with this weekend adding $4.5 million to a running total of $39.9 million. And then there’s Across The Universe, holding up better than expected with a current haul of $12.9 million.

And so, a voyage to the bottom of the charts, where we find Resident Evil: Extinction at ninth with $2.6 million and lacklustre fantasy The Dark Is Rising sitting in 20th, having dropped five places, made just $2.1 million this weekend and “boasting” a current total of $7.1 million. Hardly Harry Potter numbers. Between this an Eragon, Fox might want to look elsewhere for a successful kiddie franchise…

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