Lionsgate U.K. is bringing the Tyler Perry franchise to Blighty, starting with the theatrical release of “Why Did I Get Married Too?” on Sept. 3.
It’s the first time one of Perry’s pics, which have grossed $482 million domestically, will hit screens in the U.K.
The mini-major, which distributes Perry’s titles Stateside, will also release four titles on DVD in the U.K. — “Why Did I Get Married?,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “Daddy’s Little Girls” — on Aug. 23.
Lionsgate U.K. CEO Zygi Kamasa said that the distrib has been planning to launch the Perry franchise for more than three years but finding a window in Perry’s busy schedule to bring him to the U.K. for publicity was tough. Perry makes two films a year and has a TBS show, “House of Payne.”
“We intentionally didn’t release Tyler’s previous films here on DVD yet because we didn’t want to waste his brand,” said Kamasa. “It’s taken us time to find the right window to launch his brand in the U.K. and the end of this summer is the perfect time to do so.”
Perry has spent the last week in the U.K with Janet Jackson (who stars in both “Why Did I Get Married” titles), in an effort to get publicity wheels turning.
Both banked more than 50 mainstream press interviews — which will rollout at the end of August — and a stint on BBC’s “The Graham Norton Show,” which aired on Monday.
Perry and Jackson also attended a preview screening of “Why Did I Get Married Too?” at London’s Ritzy Brixton Cinema.
“I was surprised by Tyler’s reception here in Brixton,” said Kamasa. “I wasn’t sure if anyone would know who he was but people were chanting his name.”
Kamasa added that the black community — Perry’s core fan base — is smaller in the U.K. than in the U.S., so the pic is targeted as a broad commercial comedy.
“Why Did I Get Married Too?” will roll out on 50-60 prints. That number will be upped to 100 prints for Perry’s upcoming “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” starring Whoopi Goldberg, and then 200 prints for the next instalment in the “Madea” series.