This was the year multihyphenate Perry proved to the world what black auds already knew: He doesn’t need a housedress to pull in the crowds.
Opening in late February (the slot where Perry struck gold with his two Madea comedies), “Daddy’s Little Girls” earned more than $31 million, even though Perry himself remained behind the camera.
“Girls” marked not only the self-made phenom’s first original feature (the others were adaptations of his hit stage plays) but also the first to shoot in Perry’s new Atlanta studios, home to his original TBS sitcom “House of Payne.”
“Payne’s” June bow set a ratings high for ad-supported cable, with the first two episodes pulling in 5 million viewers each.
Auds’ appetite for Perry has only intensified, propelling his latest meller, “Why Did I Get Married?” — which marked Perry’s return to the screen, alongside such co-stars as Janet Jackson and Sharon Leal (“Dreamgirls”) — to his highest crossover success to date. Next up: two more stage-to-screen adaptations, “Meet the Browns” and “A Jazz Man’s Blues,” for Lionsgate.
Point of view
“He’s very message-driven,” says Leal, “and there are issues within the African-American culture that need to be addressed. But I think the biggest thing to celebrate is that a white audience is coming to see it and that they’re discovering something there to enjoy.”