Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Why Did I Get Married Sabotaged?
I ran across this article on another site about movie theaters potentially sabotaging Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married's sales by crediting Perry's sales to other movies, thus attempting to keep the movie off of the top box office sales list. Well as we all know, the movie still debuted at #1 so it must not have been a wide spread problem.
Is this a real concern or are folks overreacting to a legitimate error? Is there really a deep-seeded conspiracy in the movie industry to keep Perry down or are folks being paranoid? I'm not saying either way, but would folks have been upset if it were another movie that the error was made on? Did the theater do it on purpose?
I know that racism is rampant in the U.S. and there are valid issues that come up that need to be addressed, but is this particular instance a cause for concern or are we too paranoid sometimes?
In any event, if anybody is going to see the movie make sure you check your stubs.
What do you think?
Film target of sabotage opening weekend
By Kenya Vaughn Of the St. Louis American
Even before Why Did I Get Married opened, Tyler Perry talked candidly about his struggle to get his film released in a number of theatres comparable to his mainstream counterparts and other apparent attempts to undermine its success on its opening weekend.I went to see the film on Sunday night at my regular theatre (Wehrenberg’s Jamestown 14 Cine) and had an interesting experience.
When my ticket was torn, the man working the door said, “We Own The Night is in auditorium three.” I told him that I didn’t buy a ticket to We Own the Night, but to Why Did I Get Married. He said, “It’s fine, just go on in.”After informing him that I didn’t want another film to get credit for Tyler Perry’s sale, he said, “Fair enough, wait here” and brought back a stub from Why Did I get Married.
When I arrived in the theatre, a woman who asked not to be identified said, “Girl, make sure that your ticket says ‘Tyler Perry’ because mine said We Own Night. My friend said that it happened to her yesterday. They been tryin’ to be shady all weekend.” I was not the only one. Neither was she. There was a bit of commotion as people looked at their tickets and, sure enough, their tickets didn’t say what they thought it said. The concerned patron who attempted to school me on the error went to the manager and he said that it was a mistake. “Well, I ain’t never seen them make this kind of mistake before,” the woman said. In the 20 years I had been patronizing the Jamestown 14 Cine, neither had I. A bold, matter-of-fact woman, she went to the manager and insisted that he make an announcement in the theater. His message regarding the cause of the “mix-up” was unclear, but he told the audience that they were welcome to come to the box office and get their ticket changed. But when the film was over, the box office was closed.By the time the office opened Monday, someone had already called the American to voice concerns regarding a similar incident at the same theatre.Quinton Pittman, an attendant of The Wehrenberg theatre in St. Charles, conveyed his disdain via e-mail.
“I took my lady to see Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married yesterday in St. Charles at the Wehrenberg Theatre on 1st Capitol. I glanced at my ticket stubs. Why was I sold tickets to Resident Evil”? Pittman wrote. He said that he talked with the usher and management and decided to contact Werhrenberg Offices.“To add further insult to this injury, when I called the home office of Wehrenberg Theatres to complain, I was directed to Linda Curbell (Guest Services) who told me, ‘The only way you're going to get ticket stubs to that movie is to get them out of the trash,’” Pittman said. He said that Curbell refused to take his complaint formally and brushed him off with a nasty attitude.“Had it been Harry Potter, Spiderman or Barney Goes to Jail, they would have fixed it right then and there,” Pittman said. “My conscience is burning because they were being racist - period. They are stealing money from Tyler Perry’s movie.”“It was a mistake, and we’re looking into it,” Kelly Hoskins said in an abrasive and condescending tone when I called Wehrenberg’s corporate offices and asked about the incidents. She also said that the theatres installed new ticketing systems that might have contributed to the error.Shawn Ellens went to St. Louis Mills (which is not a Wehrenberg theatre) to see the movie. According to her, she waited for more than 20 minutes from the original 6:45 p.m. start time to see Why Did I get Married.She said the film then was screened out of focus and with the actors’ heads cut off. They stopped the film to resolve the issue and left guests waiting.“When it finally got up, the film had already started and we had missed part of it,” Ellens said.After people started complaining, they offered passes to see another film.“I had never experienced that type of problem before,” Ellens said. “While I can only speculate (regarding motive), 99.9 percent of the people in there were black.”Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married opened at the top of the box office with $21.5 million.Ellens says that she rarely goes to see a movie on the first weekend, but as a fan of Perry, she wanted to make sure he had a strong finish.“Even with all of that trifling behavior, he still came out number one,” Ellen said.“I’m tickled pink, and I wish we could get word to him what happened here in St. Louis.”