Tyler Perry defends his casting of the E! reality star Kim Kardashian and says he hopes her presence will bring her millions of followers to the film
Kim Kardashian hits the big screen Friday in “Tyler Perry’s Temptation,” and we’re pretty sure Meryl Streep isn’t losing any sleep. But the reality star's presence should provide a box-office boost for the movie, industry analysts said Tuesday.
‘It’s always a little trickier for Tyler Perry when he doesn’t bring Madea with him,” BoxOffice.com editor-in-chief Phil Contrino told TheWrap. “And this should bring some people out, even if it’s to see her fall on her face.”
Or see her break out as an actress.
Whether she’s great, competent or lousy in the PG-13-rated drama remains to be seen; like most of Perry’s films, “Temptation” hasn’t been screened for critics. But It’s not a huge role.
“Temptation” follows a heated romance between the ambitious and married Judith (played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Harley (Robbie Jones), a handsome social media billionaire who aggressively courts her. Kardashian plays Judith's co-worker at the high-end couple's therapy business.
The casting of Kardashian drew early fire from Perry’s devoted fan base, many of whom wondered what the E! Entertainment reality star was doing in a film about marriage, given that hers to Kris Humphries lasted not quite three months.
“Y’all gave me a new movie title, ‘Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman Cause You Hired Kim Kardashian, Don’t Make Me Take Off My Earrings and Boycott Yo A**,’ ” Perry wrote on his website.
He defended his choice and said that he wanted more young people to hear the message of faith, forgiveness and the power of God that “Temptation” sends.
“I said to one of my producers, ‘who else is out there that young people are looking up to?’” Perry said. “One of them showed me pictures that his daughter had taken of several hundred kids lined up around the corner to get into a Kardashian store. They wanted to meet Kim. I thought, what better person! She literally has millions of young people following her.”
That would be 17 million, if you’re counting Twitter followers.
“I thought and still do think, that it would be very responsible of her to be a part of this film, Perry said. He even suggested she could be a role model.
“Millions of young people adore her and are following her every move. If one of those young people see this film and find the strength to live a better life and not go through what these characters went through in this movie, then we have all done what I feel I’m being led to do here.”
This won't be the 32-year-old Kardashian's first movie. She made her film debut in 2008's "Disaster Movie," (she earned a Razzie nomination for that one) and returned to the big screen in 2009's "Deep in the Valley." Neither made much of a ripple at the box office.
That's something Perry knows a little about, His 12 films have brought in more than $630 million globally and made an average of $52 million, impressive since most are made for well under $20 million. His “Madea” films dominate the list of his biggest earners; 2009’s “Madea Goes to Jail,” which opened to $41 million and went on to make $90 million, is his highest grossing film.
Three previous Perry's films have debuted on Easter weekend ("Why Did I Get Married Too?," "Madea's Big Happy Family" and "Meet the Browns"), and all opened between $20 million and $30 million, and distributor Lionsgate would be very happy with a debut in that range.
An opening for "Temptation" along the lines of last year’s “Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds” is more likely. That one opened to $15 million in February and went on to take in $35 million domestically.