Tyler Perry’s Ode to Single Moms Backfired…But Why?

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  • Even though Tyler Perry’s “The Single Moms Club” is just a movie, before its release there was buzz that real life divorced mothers or moms without partners were having “aha!” moments.

    How cool would it be to join forces with other single moms?

    Then they probably quickly realized a science project was due, they had an early meeting with their team at work or the results of their mammogram hadn’t come back yet.

    And guess what?  I don’t think being a married mom with kids makes you exempt from the basic things that single moms go through.  My best friend is married to a man who is a dedicated husband and father and she has most of the same stresses that I do as a divorced mother of two.

    In fact, I’ve had several conversations with married women who say they sometimes feel like single moms.  It’s no affront to their husbands.  I think what they really mean is the way work, chores, homework, and life experiences in general are distributed, women, married and single usually end up doing more at home. Statistics bear it out. Even though men are more involved parents and take care of their children more now than in previous generations, studies show men do only 20 percent of household chores like laundry and cleaning.  Even though there are tons of books, magazine articles and studies dedicated to “chore wars” between men and women, that isn’t what this blog is about.

    This blog is about recognizing that good moms, single or married, make it work, are not by whining about what they aren’t getting and who is isn’t giving it to them.  We really don’t have that much free time.

    Unfortunately for our friend Tyler Perry, “The Single Mom’s Club” has had one of the lowest openings of any of his other films. Some say it lacked star power, some are saying it was because it was a poor attempt for TP to go after a cross over audience that just wasn’t there. Some even say it needed Madea to boost its numbers.

    But maybe, “The Single Mom’s Club” tried to appeal to an audience that isn’t a distinctive as the title suggests.  Maybe the effort to “single out” a group really only divided us.  Maybe married people with no children, married people with children, singles with no children, and men in general thought the subject matter was a little too narrow.

    When I train people about developing a brand image one of the first questions I ask of clients is to be clear about who they are, what they’re offering and who’s asking for it.

    As catchy as the name is, “The Single Mom’s Club,” was not able to deliver a broad range of people who just wanted to be entertained for a couple of hours—something we all have in common.

    Before deciding to spend $40 on movie tickets and snacks, plus the price of gas we’re all courted by a long list of options that include, social media, Netflix, DVRs, live entertainment, and just regrouping from a long week of work, school, homework, doctor’s appointments and more.

    I totally get Mr. Perry’s efforts to create new characters and grow new audiences but in reality, his Madea films probably do more for single moms than a movie geared for a more mature audience.

    Most busy moms like me, married or single are looking for more things to do with our kids, not less. By the end of a work week winding down with a movie everyone in the house can enjoy is still a crowd pleaser in our house.

    Even though “The Single Mom’s Club,” may not be a hit, it won’t slow Tyler Perry down and I hope we won’t by into the negative press that is suggesting that he has lost his touch.  Show me a director who hasn’t had had a less than favorable opening week at the box office.

    He or she doesn’t exist.

    But I am curious as to why the core audience didn’t flock to the film.

    What do you think? Did you see “The Single Mom’s Club?”  If not, why not?

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