Tyler Perry’s ‘Alex Cross’ flops at the box office

Tyler Perry hangs on for dear life as the title character in “Alex Cross,” based on “Cross,” a detective novel by James Patterson.

Tyler Perry hangs on for dear life as the title character in “Alex Cross,” based on “Cross,” a detective novel by James Patterson.

Tyler Perry‘s first foray into the mainstream action genre was a big disappointment at the box office this weekend. Despite heavy promotion by Perry and Summit, the studio behind the film, Alex Cross opened in 5th place with just  $11.8 million in its first weekend.

This marks the lowest-grossing debut of Perry’s acting career.

This number came in below both of Morgan Freeman’s films as Alex Cross. Kiss the Girls (1997) opened with $13.2 million and Along Came a Spider (2001) made $16.7 in its debut. According to Box Office Guru, Tyler Perry’s incarnation “brought out roughly half as many people on opening weekend as Girls did.”

According to studio research, 60 percent of Alex Cross‘ audience was female, 68 percent was over 35 and 74 percent was African-American.

Reviews were nearly universally negative of the film and Perry’s performance in it.

“Big, beefy mini-mogul Tyler Perry has climbed out of his panty hose and got some high-priced training in how to look convincing shooting a gun and beating up bad guys. Playing things straight, he’s a dull actor, indeed, with dead eyes and strange-looking pool-ball lumps in each cheek,” wrote David Edelstein for New York magazine.

As for the film itself, reactions like “slipshod,” “junk,” “crapola” and “a grim, dispiritingly stupid waste of time, energy, money and talent” — were par for the course.

One light at the end of the tunnel for Perry — audiences that did see Alex Cross seemed to like it. It got an A grade from Cinemascore polling of attendees.

For his part, Tyler Perry posted this message to fans on this website:

Thank You For Allowing Me To Grow. To all of you who went to see Alex Cross this weekend, I just want to say thank you for allowing me to grow. Thank you for letting me stretch my wings a bit. I knew you would enjoy it. Your messages on my board make me feel so good, and thank you for giving the movie an A. Can’t do this without you.

Despite the poor box office performance of Alex Cross, Perry has already signed on to reprise the lead role in a sequel.