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Madea is back and in full effect, raking in $26.7 million for opener

Tyler Perry’s ‘Boo! A Madea Halloween’ was a box office hit

It looks like the people spoke this weekend. The sharp-tongued, gun-toting character created by actor, writer and filmmaker Tyler Perry graced the big screen this weekend in Boo! A Madea Halloween, and it wasn’t just black families showing up to box offices.

The Madea series usually draws a predominantly black audience (between 80 percent and 90 percent). Ticket buyers last weekend were 60 percent black while the rest were white and Hispanic.

This latest film in the long-running Madea series brought in $27.6 million, beating out the new movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back starring Tom Cruise.

“The film crossed over and it expanded the audience,” said David Spitz, co-president of domestic distribution at Lionsgate. “Madea is such a beloved character and the timing helped. There are not many comedies in the marketplace right now and Halloween is right around the corner.”

Comedian Chris Rock joked about a Madea film in his 2014 movie Top Five. His character mentioned he would have a project that would face off against a Madea Halloween flick, and Perry in turn put the movie mention into action.

Perhaps we can thank Rock for giving America its Madea fix.

“This isn’t the end of the series, it’s just the beginning,” said Jeff Bock, box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, according to Variety. He noted that Perry also scored big with 2013’s A Madea Christmas.

“There are so many holidays left. There’s Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and he hasn’t even done a Thanksgiving one yet.”

The Madea series has collectively pulled in nearly $380 million.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.