Opening on February 25, 2005, Diary Of A Mad Black Woman was the first movie released by Tyler Perry. The movie introduced the world outside of the chitlin circuit to “Madea”, Perry’s wig-wearing, prosthetic-rocking, gun-toting alter ego. Made on a modest budget of $5.5 million, “Diary” went on to gross more than $50 million making Perry a bonafide star.
Up to that point Spike Lee was the only Black director who starred in his own movies that really made a mark in major motion pictures, but Diary offered a lucrative alternative. Based on the 2002 play of the same name, Perry, who had been writing plays since he was 18, used the popularity of the feisty granny with an attitude to carve his own niche.
Ironically, the major players in Hollywood refused to acknowledge Perry’s success even after a string of successful films, but Perry already had a fan base large enough to bring big returns at the box office. Coming from a hard life that included sexual abuse and homelessness to becoming one of the richest men in entertainment, Perry has changed the world of cinema with characters and messages that are resonate with the urban community.
Perry is still increasing his wealth on his own terms by being the first Black man to own a movie studio and signed a record 100-episode television deal with TBS for his television show “House Of Payne”.
For Perry there seems to be no end in sight. In his latest movie Good Deeds premiered at #2 with over $16 million in sales. Take a look at a clip from the movie that started it all.