“The Perfect Guy” grossed $25.9 million at the box office, exceeding projections which had placed the movie in the $15 million range for the weekend.
The debut box numbers were even enough to top two recent psycho thrillers with similar plots: Idris Elba‘s “No Good Deed” ($24.3 million) and Jennifer Lopez‘s “The Boy Next Door” ($14.9 million). However, Beyonce’s “Obsessed” still retained its psycho September frontrunner status with a $28.6 million opening haul.
2009’s “Obsessed” starred Ali Larter who starts stalking successful asset manager Derek (Idris Elba), much to the dismay of his wife, played by Beyonce Knowles. While it received terrible reviews (19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), it actually performed quite well at the box office as the No. 1 movie on its debut weekend. With a budget of $20 million, it made $28.6 million its opening weekend.
Five years after “Obsessed” hit theaters, “No Good Deed” starring Elba again alongside Taraji P. Henson and Kate del Castillo arrived on the big screen in September 2014. The film features escaped convict (Elba) stalking and terrorizing a woman (Henson) and her children. This movie made less bank than its predecessor, but had a modest budget of $13.2 million. Additionally, it received worse reviews than “Obsessed,” only scoring 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
And just one year later, Jennifer Lopez starred in “The Boy Next Door,” which made significantly less than both previous movies but still was a very profitable movie for Blumhouse Productions due to its modest budget. The film, released in January 2015, went on to gross $35.4 million domestically. Lopez’s character falls for the boy next door (Ryan Guzman), who turns out to be more dangerous than he seems. This one, too, only received a meager 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Perfect Guy” earned 31 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, giving it a better score than all its recent predecessors.
And looking back even farther, movies like “SwimFan” (2002), “Sleeping with the Enemy” (1991), “Fear” (1996), “The Crush” (1993) and “Prom Night” (2008) also delved into a similar plot line. All of those movies did only mediocre at the box office with the exception of 1991’s “Sleeping with the Enemy” — starring box office queen of that decade Julia Roberts — which pulled in $101 million domestically.
Additionally, with “The Perfect Guy” taking the No. 1 spot this weekend at the North American box office, it makes five straight weeks that films with primarily African-American casts have surpassed expectations and the competition.
The successes of “War Room,” “Straight Outta Compton” and now “The Perfect Guy” are noteworthy because Hollywood’s track record of casting minorities in lead movie roles remains dismal. The top stars headlining feature films are almost always white, according to a report released last year by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.