UPDATED: Weekend Predictions: 'Fired Up!' and 'Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail'

Featured Stories - on February 19, 2009 by Phil Contrino

A cheerleading comedy and Tyler Perry's latest film will try to topple Friday the 13th this weekend.

After the release of such high profile films as He's Just Not That Into You and Friday the 13th, this weekend will seem relatively calm at the box office. Two new wide releases, Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail and Fired Up!, will try to knock some of February's box office champs out of their spots at the top of the box office.

February 20 to February 22, 2009 Weekend Predictions
Title Gross (M) Cume (M) Locations Inc./Dec.
1 Madea Goes to Jail $25.0 $25.0 2,032 New
2 Friday the 13th $15.0 $62.5 3,105 0
3 Taken $13.5 $97.5 3,102 -7
4 Coraline $11.0 $53.5 2,155 -165
5 He's Just Not That Into You $10.5 $72.0 3,050 -125
6 Fired Up! $8.5 $8.5 1,810 New
7 Confessions of a Shopaholic $8.2 $29.0 2,507 0
8 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $8.0 $122.5 2,385 -130
9 Slumdog Millionaire $7.4 $97.4 2,244 +610
10 The International $5.3 $18.0 2,364 0

Over the last several years, Tyler Perry has become a very reliable box office draw. It all began in 2005 with Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which grossed $21.9 million domestically ($24.5 million when adjusted for inflation) during its first weekend of release. The following year, Perry recorded his strongest opening weekend to date with Madea's Family Reunion, which brought in $30 million during its debut frame (nearly $33 million when adjusted for inflation). Now, with Madea Goes to Jail, Perry and his distributor Lionsgate will be banking on the fact that his loyal fans will turn out once again.


The important thing to remember with Perry's films is that the ones that are based on a play always perform better at the box office. Perry's weakest openings have been with 2007's Daddy's Little Girls ($11.2 million) and 2008's The Family That Preys ($17.4 million), both of which were not based on one of his plays. Luckily, Jail is based on an earlier play, so it already comes with a built-in audience. The film's opening location count is pretty consistent with the multihyphenate's other releases.


Sony is giving Fired Up! a modest release of only 1,810 locations, which means that its box office haul will be hindered from the start. The cheerleading comedy is rated PG-13, so it will represent an appealing choice for teenage crowds that are too young to see Friday the 13th. Although, as strange as it may sound, the whole cheerleader comedy niche has probably been worn thin by a barrage of Bring it On spinoffs that have been released straight to DVD.

Since most horror films do very well during there opening frame before dropping off quickly, Friday the 13th should lose around 60% of its audience during its sophomore frame. The fresh take on the classic horror series should reach the $80 million mark by the end of its domestic theatrical run.

Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.

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