Tyler Perry’s Madea Imprisons the Box Office

The weekend after President’s Day seemed like it might be fairly quiet with only two new releases, but exploding into theaters was the latest from Lionsgate’s favorite Atlanta media mogul Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, which grossed an estimated $41.1 million in just 2,032 theaters, an incredible per-theater average of over $20k per site. It achieved Perry’s biggest opening, surpassing his 2006 hit “Madea’s Family Reunion” by $10 million, and based on estimates, it’s the 5th highest February opener. By comparison, Perry’s last movie “The Family That Preys” grossed less than $40 million in its total theatrical release, proving that Perry’s crossdressing antics as Madea, as well as movies based on his hit plays, tend to do better with moviegoing audiences. Even so, one can probably expect it to gross less than $85 million going by past Perry films.

Continuing to do exemplary business, 20th Century Fox’s action-thriller Taken, starring Liam Neeson, makes its way to $100 million, adding another $11.4 million this weekend to take second place, moving up one spot from President’s Day weekend.

Likewise, Henry Selick’s animated 3D fantasy Coraline (Focus Features) moved up two spots from fifth to third place with another $11 million, bringing its total to $53.4 million. It’s currently Focus Features’ third-highest grossing release of all time after Brokeback Mountain and Burn After Reading, but will probably be second before it leaves theaters.

Dropping 53% from the holiday weekend, the star-studded romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You (New Line/WB) added $8.5 million to its take of $70 million.

In the days leading up to the Oscar ceremony, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) added another $8 million over the weekend to move up to fifth place after adding 600 more theaters on Friday. It should hit the $100 million mark by Tuesday and continue to do well if it wins Best Picture at the Oscars as being predicted by most experts.

The horror relaunch Friday the 13th (New Line/WB) took a drastic plunge in its second weekend, dropping from first to sixth place with an estimated $7.8 million, an abysmal drop of 81% from its record-setting opening weekend. If that number sticks, it will have achieved one of the Top 10 biggest second weekend drops, joining the likes of Gigli and From Justin to Kelly. (Note: That’s probably not good if you’re trying to start a franchise.)

Disney’s comedy Confessions of a Shopaholic followed suit with the New Line romantic comedy, dropping 53% to 7th place with $7 million and a total gross of just under $28 million.

A trio of Sony releases wrapped up the Top 10 with Kevin James’ hit comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop adding another $7 million in eighth place, bringing its total to an astounding $121 million.

Screen Gems’ cheerleading comedy Fired Up! opened weakly in ninth place with just $6 million in roughly 1800 theaters.

The Clive Owen-Naomi Watts conspiracy thriller The International also took a hefty plunge, dropping to tenth place with $4.4 million and a total of $17 million.

The top 10 grossed roughly $112 million, up 31% from the same weekend last year where Sony’s Vantage Point opened at #1 with $23 million.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.