Why Did I Get Married PosterTyler Perry has returned to the top of the box office and, on a very competitive weekend, he’s won in very easy fashion. Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (Lionsgate) has rocked Hollywood with an $8.65M Friday, and it’s headed for an outstanding $25.3M 3-day opening.

The 38-year-old actor/writer/director established himself as an auteur and a box office sensation back in 1995 with Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which opened with a $21.9M weekend and went on to generate $50.6M domestic. Then came the even more successful Madea’s Family Reunion with a $30M opening and a $63.2M cume. Earlier this year, Perry tested his clout with Daddy’s Little Girls, a movie that he wrote and directed but didn’t appear in. Little Girls opened on the Wednesday prior to President’s Day, and the result was a dramatically softer 6-day opening of $18.7M (the 4-day was $13M and the 3-day was $11.2M).

Now, the New Orleans-born African American entertainer is back on sure footing. His huge following has overcome mixed-to-negative reviews, and Why Did I Get Married? Will likely become the 2nd-best opening of his filmmaking career, trailing only Madea’s Family Reunion. In the process, Perry has beaten back some Hollywood heavyweights like Clooney, Wahlberg, Phoenix and Blanchett.

The Game Plan (Buena Vista), in its 3rd weekend, will finish an impressive #2 for the weekend. The family comedy added $3.2M on Friday (#4 for the day), but Saturday and Sunday matinees will power Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to a 3-day of $12.3M or so. The modestly budgeted Game Plan will rush past the $60M mark by Monday morning.

It will be very close for 3rd place for the weekend, but I anticipate that Michael Clayton (Warner Bros), produced by and starring Oscar winner George Clooney, will finish in the show position.  James Gray’s We Own the Night (Sony), starring Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix, grabbed $3.75M on Friday compared to Michael Clayton’s $3.7M, but the older-skewing legal thriller from first-time director Tony Gilroy win the 3-day by a whisker – $11.4M to $11.2M.

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY FRIDAY ESTIMATES
1. NEW – Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (Lionsgate) – $8.65M – $4,301 PTA – $8.65M cume
2. NEW – We Own the Night (Sony) – $3.75M – $1,588 PTA – $3.75M cume
3. Michael Clayton (Warner Bros) – $3.7M – $1,474 PTA – $4.7M cume
4. The Game Plan (Buena Vista) – $3.2M – $1,023 PTA – $51.1M cume
5. The Heartbreak Kid (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $2.3M – $711 PTA – $20.8M cume
6. NEW – Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Universal) – $2.2M – $1,099 PTA – $2.2M cume
7. The Kingdom (Universal) – $1.29M – $458 PTA – $36.6M cume
8. Across the Universe (Sony) – $1.12M – $1,175 PTA – $10M cume
9. Resident Evil: Extinction (Sony) – $710,000 – $316 PTA – $46.1M cume
10. Good Luck Chuck (Lionsgate) – $586,000 -  $301 PTA – $31.3M cume
*Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight) – $282,000 – $2,972 PTA – $1.35M cume
*Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage) – $240,000 – $1,569 PTA – $3.2M cume
*NEW – The Final Season (Yari Film Group) – $200,000 – $198 PTA – $200,000 cume
*Lust, Caution (Focus Features) – $135,500 – $1,760 PTA – $785,000 cume
*The Assassination of Jesse James… (Warner Bros) – $101,420 – $622 PTA – $1M cume
*In the Valley of Elah (Warner Independent) – $101,000 – $139 PTA – $6M cume
*NEW – Lars & the Real Girl (MGM) – $25,760 – $3,680 PTA – $25,760 cume
*NEW – Sleuth (Sony Classics) – $11,169 – $1,241 PTA – $11,169 cume
*NEW – King Corn (Balcony Releasing) – $3,086 – $3,086 PTA – $3,086 cume

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY 3-DAY ESTIMATES
1. NEW – Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (Lionsgate) – $25.3M – $12,581 PTA – $25.3M cume
2. The Game Plan (Buena Vista) – $12.3M – $3,932 PTA – $60.2M cume
3. Michael Clayton (Warner Bros) – $11.4M – $4,540 PTA – $12.4M cume
4. NEW – We Own the Night (Sony) – $11.2M – $4,742 PTA – $11.2M cume
5. The Heartbreak Kid (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $7.3M – $2,258 PTA – $25.8M cume
6. NEW – Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Universal) – $7M – $3,498 PTA – $7M cume
7. The Kingdom (Universal) – $4.36M – $1,539 PTA – $39.7M cume
8. Across the Universe (Sony) – $3.47M – $3,642 PTA – $12.3M cume
9. Resident Evil: Extinction (Sony) – $2.59M – $1,152 PTA – $48M cume
10. The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (Fox) – $1.99M – $630 PTA – $6.9M
*Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight) – $940,000 – $9,896 PTA – $2M cume
*Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage) – $864,000 – $5,647 PTA – $3.8M cume
*NEW – The Final Season (Yari Film Group) – $540,000 – $534 PTA – $540,000 cume
*Lust, Caution (Focus Features) – $475,000 – $6,169 PTA – $1.1M cume
*In the Valley of Elah (Warner Independent) – $359,000 – $495 PTA – $6.2M cume
*The Assassination of Jesse James… (Warner Bros) – $355,000 – $2,178 PTA – $1.3M cume
*NEW – Lars & the Real Girl (MGM) – $93,000 – $13,286 PTA – $93,000 cume
*NEW – Sleuth (Sony Classics) – $41,000 – $4,556 PTA – $41,000 cume
*NEW – King Corn (Balcony Releasing) – $10,801 – $10,801 PTA – $10,801 cume

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