Back to IndieWire

Weekend B.O. May 10-12 (What Happened To ‘Peeples’?)

Weekend B.O. May 10-12 (What Happened To 'Peeples'?)

Wow! Didn’t see that coming. Of course Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby were on the top of the this weekend’s B.O. chart
with Gatsby, which was predicted by many to be one the first major flops of this
summer season, doing much better than anyone expected, grossing $51 million, while IR3, to date, has earned some $950
million
worldwide.

But let’s get to the real surprise which was how disastrously Tyler Perry’s Peeples performed this weekend, not even cracking $5 million. And this means that the film won’t even make back
its very modest $15 million
production budget, and it will be out of most theaters by the end of the week.

So what in the hell happened?

I admit I was surprised too. Of
course it was up against some heavy hitters and no one expected it to do big
numbers. But one would think that it would find its niche audience and do reasonably
well.

And you would think that with Tyler Perry’s name attached
to it, it would have had a guaranteed audience. But not even they showed up for
it and, needless to say, it’s far and away the lowest box office opening for
anything with Perry’s name associated with it.

But here are a few reasons I could come up with for
the film’s surprising results:

Wrong
movie/wrong time
– It was released at a really bad time,
right at the beginning of the big summer movie season. And with so many other options
that people have been anxiously anticipating to see, no one was in the mood for
a lightweight comedy. It should have come out either earlier this year or pushed
back until later in the season, when people had had their fill of big, bloated,
CGI infested spectaculars.

Marketing
problems
– The trailer wasn’t particularly funny; the various one
sheets for the film weren’t great (that one with the pictures of the three
leads mugging was especially atrocious), and Lionsgate never got a real grasp
on how to market the film. Aside from the fact that the film’s release date was
moved around several times for almost a year (Peeples was shot back in 2010/2011), potential
filmgoers could sense there was something wrong with the film, and stayed away… which leads to…

Bad
movie
– The film wasn’t good anyway. As a friend of mine, who
saw it at an earlier preview before I did,  said to me, the film was “cut to shit”. Exactly.
It was a very choppily edited film in which most of the comedy never seemed to flow
naturally, or was allowed to build up to any punch. Instead it seemed to
meander, several times setting up situations with no follow
through. And there was that whole lesbian subplot that was more of a
guy’s fantasy, which then chickens out at the crucial minute. I mean, finally, a real reason for guys to see a movie that Perry is involved with (some girl/girl action) and the film cops out! DAMN
IT!
.

The performances were all over the place. David Alan Grier, who is one of the
funniest people alive, gave a one note, sour puss performance. I kept waiting
for him to do something, anything,
even remotely funny. Meanwhile Kerry
Washington
was so hyper and frantic that she was almost bouncing off the
walls. And poor Diahann Carroll was
totally wasted. Why is she in the film if you’re not going to use her? Perhaps S. Epatha Mekerson came off the best,
because she was the most sympathetic and human character in the entire film.

There’s evidence of some major post-production
problems with its erratic editing, and the constant shifting of release dates
and titles, going from Meet the Peeples
to simply Tyler Perry’s Peeples, all indicating that the studio
had a film in trouble.

Is
it Robinson or was it the part?
– I interviewed him, and, in
fact, we interviewed him twice, for the site and we can all attest that
Craig Robinson is just a very funny
and super nice guy. And he definitely worked his ass off to promote the film as
well. But he simply doesn’t have that “star quality” needed to play a lead role.
He’s fine on TV and he’s a solid supporting actor, but he’s just not leading
man material.

However there very much could be a lead role for
him out there which he’s perfect for, but Peeples wasn’t it. It didn’t play
to his comedic strengths, which lean more towards the edgy and definitely off-the-wall. In the film, he
came off as a rather bland, nice guy, but that’s the way the role
was written. Better luck next time.

The failure of Peeples is also bad news because it could lead to Perry becoming reluctant to support other filmmakers to
make, and will force him to restrict himself more than ever and just do his own stuff instead.

What do you think went wrong?

1) Iron Man 3 BV $72,472,000 Total: $284,893,000 
2) The Great Gatsby  WB $51,115,000 
3) Pain and Gain Par. $5,000,000 Total: $41,608,000 
4) Tyler Perry Presents Peeples LGF $4,850,000 
5) 42 WB $4,650,000 -Total: $84,732,000 
6) Oblivion Uni. $3,864,000 Total: $81,655,000
7) The Croods Fox $3,600,000 Total: $173,215,000 
8) The Big Wedding LGF $2,500,000 Total: $18,288,000
9) Mud RAtt. $2,343,000 Total: $8,363,000 
10) Oz The Great and Powerful BV $802,000 Total: $229,985,000 
11) Scary Movie 5 W/Dim. $706,000 Total: $30,644,000
12) The Place Beyond the Pines Focus $675,000 Total: $19,967,000 

This Article is related to: Box Office