The latest film from Tyler Perry, Daddy's Little Girls, is missing two things: Perry's Madea character and a significant opening weekend gross. Could it be coincidence? Or was it simply the result of an overly competitive weekend? In the six days since its Valentine's Day bow, Daddy's Little Girls has earned about $20 million, which is normally a good debut for a February. But this past weekend drew record attendances due to five major new releases, including a superhero action film, a fantastic family pic, a star-billed romantic comedy and a grown-up thriller. It isn't that surprising that a few of those, plus the very popular Norbit, would place higher than a lower-budget, "urban" romantic comedy on the box office chart.

Still, Perry's first picture, Madea's Family Reunion, opened in the same month last year to $30 million. And two years ago, also in the same month, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which Perry wrote but did not direct, opened to $21 million. In the end those films grossed more than double their opening totals. But neither of them went up against any significant challengers at the multiplexes. With another slew of new films opening Friday, it is possible that Daddy's Little Girls will get lost in the mix, and it isn't likely that it will manage to finish with as noticeable a run as its predecessors.

Few in Hollywood like to defend low numbers with such logical explanations, so it is easy to imagine Lionsgate is right now pressuring Perry into adding the Madea character to his next film, Why Did I Get Married?, even though the source play did not feature the character. I think that Madea could very well be Perry's own Jay and Silent Bob.