If you adore success stories, get ready to fall in love with multi-hyphenated entertainment mogul Tyler Perry. His net worth for 2017 is estimated to be a whopping $600 million (Cunneff, 2016) which is a big stretch up from living in his car just 20 years ago (Perry, 2010). Tyler Perry’s studio, Tyler Perry Studios, is located in Atlanta, GA. The studio is home to over 400 employees. According to the industry, (Wikipedia , 2017), from his New York best seller, to his 17 feature films, Perry is a promising player as he has created a sense of diversity to his brand and businesses.
CEO Tyler Perry does not have a MBA or fancy business degree. In fact, he dropped out of high school at the age of 16, (Perry, 2010). However, he is a business man like no other. Perry is a well-known writer-director-producer-actor-playwright-songwriter. Tyler Perry creates content. For his films, he most famously adapts his plays to transfer onto the big screen. He has successfully done this 14 times over the past few years. For example, for his first feature length film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), he first wrote the play then used the money from the play to help fund the movie along with other investors. Tyler Perry creates the content and produces his movies at his studio or at on site locations with the help from the state of Georgia’s media department. For additional funds, he finds personal “private entertainment investors” to help fund his movies (Perry, Madea Goes to Jail, 2009).
Perry also has a special arm under Tyler Perry Studios, 34th Studio, that specializes in producing movies that are not comedies (Wikipedia , 2017). From this special studio, Perry has produced heart felt dramas such as, For Colored Girls (2014). 34th Studios is important because it stands as its own company. Tyler Perry’s productions are often funded through both 34th Studio and Tyler Perry Studios.
Tyler Perry has mastered the area of content creation. However, he has yet to create a business unit that distributes that content. Lionsgate before he ended his deal with them in 2015 , acted as his sole US distributer, and the company often contributed as a production investor (Andreeva, 2017).
Tyler Perry is all about the money. He is the writer, producer, stars in, and sometimes the director for most of his movies. He gets money off the front and the back end. He is considered an independent filmmaker, so his idea is to serve an underserved audience by producing low budget films with a target audience that he knows will come out to the theatres works for him. Anything he develops he often holds more than two credits. For example, it took roughly $13 million to make his hit film I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009), but the film grossed in the US over $53.5 million in the box office. Another example would be Madea’s Family Reunion (2006), Perry was the writer, actor, producer, and director in this particular film that took $6 million to make, but ended up grossing over $63.7 million after 9 weeks in the box office. Like other creative developers, Perry has to pay his distributers, post production companies, actors and crew, but most of the money made comes back directly to him (IMDb, 2017).
Not only did Tyler Perry found his own production studio in 2005, but he also owns the rights to all of the content created there. That includes roughly over 850 television shows, and 17 movies. Not to mention the rights to 25 stage plays written by him (IMDb, 2017).
Perry owns the rights to a lot of creative content and intellectual properties. Some of his original work, and some he acquired through business affiliations such as: the romantic comedy Peebles (2014). He did not write or act in this particular film, however he owns the publishing rights because he produced this movie (Wikipedia , 2017). He owns a host of intellectual properties, and in 2009 he bought an island in the Bahamas. More recently, he won a lawsuit in and now owns the trademark to the phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?” (O’Neal, 2014). He used this phrase throughout one of his books, that was on the best sellers list for 12 weeks straight.
Tyler and The Future
Georgia vs Hollywood
It is no secret that Atlanta is a growing market for Entertainment. Last year, Georgia outpaced California by shooting 17 more feature films in 2016 (Galuppo, 2017). Tyler Perry is a huge part of the Georgia market. His studios produce a big percent of the feature length films made there. Although he owns a home in California, his team is fully aware that Atlanta is the place to be. He recently closed a deal to expand his space by 330 more acres, as he bought an old military based to rebuild. With the new purchase, Tyler Perry Studios is projected to become one of the largest film studios in the US (Cunneff, 2016).
New Business Ventures
Perry is making what seems like a full switch from film to television. Perry is scheduled to work with the conglomerate Viacom once his contract is done with Oprah Network (Andreeva, 2017). Tyler Perry is currently crushing his competition with his ability to create shows at a much faster space than other production studios. He is projected to revamp BET, and have at least 3 new shows on air by 2019 (Welch, 2016).
Andreeva, N. (2017, 07 14). Tyler Perry Inks Mega Film & Television Deal With Viacom . Retrieved from Deadline Hollywood : http://deadline.com/2017/07/tyler-perry-viacom-film-tv-deal-with-viacom-1202128622/
Galuppo, M. (2017, 05 23). Feature Film Production in Georgia Outpaced California Last year . Retrieved from The Hollywood Reporter : http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/feature-film-production-georgia-outpaced-california-last-year-study-says-1006912
O’Neal, S. (2014, 07 03). Newswire: Tyler Perry now owns the trademark for “What Would Jesus Do”. Retrieved from AV News : https://news.avclub.com/tyler-perry-now-owns-the-trademark-for-what-would-jesu-1798269982