Tyler Perry: The mogul outside the machine

Tyler Perry has done it yet again. His latest opus to the melodrama of marriage, "Why Did I Get Married Too," landed at No. 2 at the box office last weekend, with a gross of $29 million.

But at this point in Perry's career, his ability to sell movie tickets in spite of mostly poor critical reception is no surprise. The 40-year-old actor, author and filmmaker has gone from promoting his own plays to become a full-fledged brand -- one that, although created outside of the Hollywood machine, is causing some industry people to take notice.

"Perry's kind of unrivaled in the sense that he can open a movie no matter what; he really has tapped into a specific storytelling form," said Cinematical.com film critic Todd Gilchrist. "At this point, he has such a consistent built-in audience, they're pretty much going to come out and see the movies no matter what, because they're familiar with his style."

Being a filmmaker with a following doesn't happen every day, Gilchrist points out, but that's just part of the reason the Perry brand stands out. Coupled with Perry's devoted audience is a shrewd head for business.

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