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Here Are the Business Moves That Built Tyler Perry’s $1.4 Billion Empire

Billionaire TV and filmmaker Tyler Perry has undergone a remarkable life transformation over the past four decades, going from living out of his car to becoming one of Hollywood’s most influential personalities and creatives.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 12: Tyler Perry attends the 2022 Baby2Baby Gala presented by Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center on November 12, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)

Now, the Louisiana native is a celebrated A-lister, with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion, according to Forbes, and owns his own studio sprawling across 330 acres, boasting an impressive 12 sound stages, a lot that surpasses the size of Disney, Warner Bros., and Paramount’s studios in Burbank, California, combined. Perry, at 54 years old, wields the power to greenlight shows and films, create stars, give back to those in need and support other filmmakers through providing multiple distribution models.

Check out five major business ventures that make Perry one of the most prolific businessmen in entertainment.

The Madea Money-Making Phenomenon

The Madea phenomenon is centered around Perry’s fictional character Mabel “Madea” Simmons, a Southern matriarch originating from his live-action plays before transitioning into a film series through Lionsgate.

As a writer, producer, director, and actor Perry was able to use all these skills in his beloved “Madea” franchise, which was the foundation of his building his wealth and power in Hollywood.

The enduring success of “Madea” has garnered Perry over $660 million. Among the top-grossing Madea films, according to Box Office Mojo, are “Madea Goes to Jail” ($90,508,336), “A Madea Family Funeral” ($73,257,045), “Boo! A Madea Halloween” ($73,206,343), “Madea’s Witness Protection” ($65,653,242), “Madea’s Family Reunion” ($63,257,940), “Madea’s Big Happy Family” ($53,345,287), “A Madea Christmas” ($52,543,354), “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” ($50,633,099), and “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” ($47,319,572).

Tyler Perry: the Filmmaker

Perry has expanded beyond his Madea moviedom with a diverse portfolio of projects in both film and television.

Perry maintained creative control through a deal with content creation and distribution Lionsgate, inked in 2005. He continued to write, direct, produce, and act in his plays, including 2019’s “Madea’s Farewell.” And he makes non-Madea movies.

Perry ensures his core audience experiences entertainment across theater, TV, and film, by tapping into their desires. Targeting a demographic that includes Churchgoers, women, men, and children, Perry crafts content that resonates with them, as he discussed with The Hollywood Reporter in 2009.

Tyler Perry Studios

Tyler Perry Studios epitomizes Perry’s visionary triumph. Acquiring much of Atlanta’s historic Fort McPherson military base in 2015 for $30 million, he invested $250 million for its metamorphosis. His ownership marked him as the second African-American to possess a major film studio, succeeding Tim and Daphne Reid.

The studio boasts vast, cutting-edge soundstages named after influential figures in Black entertainment, along with expansive backlots and top-notch production facilities for TV and film endeavors. Notably, “Black Panther” was filmed there, cementing its significance in cinematic history.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Perry had been planning an $800 million expansion of his studio in Atlanta, intending to add an additional 12 studios, but he placed it on hold due to his interest in allocating some of his resources to artificial intelligence, hoping to participate in the technology’s rapid growth.

“I have been watching AI very closely and watching the advancements very closely,” he said, when talking about his radical pause on expanding the studio. “All of that is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I’m seeing. I had gotten word over the last year or so that this was coming, but I had no idea until I saw recently the demonstrations of what it’s able to do. It’s shocking to me.”

BET+ Deal

Perry has entered into a fresh multi-year agreement with BET Media Group, which encompasses the renewal of eight of his shows for both BET and its BET+ streaming service. Additionally, BET has commissioned a new scripted series titled “Route 187” from Perry as part of this arrangement. He holds a 25 stake in the service.

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