KPBS film critic Beth Accomando looks to the career of Tyler Perry.
Related Story: Rants and Raves: Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry's latest film "Madea's Big Happy Family" opened strong at the weekend box office. KPBS film critic Beth Accomando speaks with Fandango's Harry Medved about the filmmaker's unique approach to marketing.
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Tyler Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" surprised everyone with its strong box office showing in 2005, and he's been building on that success with more than a dozen films. Harry Medved, spokesman for the movie ticketing company Fandango, says Perry has proved to be a smart businessman.
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HARRY MEDVED: Tyler Perry discovered this untapped audience that was pretty long-termed underserved by Hollywood; there just weren't any movies for people in the faith-based crowd and the fact that he employs so many African American actors in his films is refreshing.
"Diary of a Mad Black Woman" introduced movie audiences to Aunt Madea, a role Perry plays in drag. The character returns in Perry's latest film "Madea's Big Happy Family." Medved says the Atlanta brings new meaning to the word "auteur."
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HARRY MEDVED: Tyler Perry has been very clever in trying to establish a brand in his own name. Almost like Walt Disney did. People come to know his name as being above the title and delivers a certain kind of moviegoing experience...
And a different kind of approach to filmmaking. Perry employs around 300 people at his Atlanta studio and he feels no need to screen his films for critics in advance of their openings. But Perry makes smart use of social networking, pop culture tie-ins, and the Internet to get his loyal fans into theaters for his films' opening weekends.
Beth Accomando, KPBS News.