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What started as a joke by comedian Chris Rock became what many are calling the funniest “Madea” movie yet.

“Boo! A Madea Halloween” debuted in first place at the box office last weekend, bringing in $27.6 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Tyler Perry says the idea to make a Halloween-themed Madea movie came from a joke by Chris Rock.

“Chris Rock came up with this ‘Madea Halloween BOO!’ in his movie, ‘Top 5.’ When Lion’s Gate saw it, they called me up like, ‘Tyler, you’ve got to do that movie,’” Perry told Hot Topics. “It’s the funniest one I’ve done.”

Perry says the movie is filled with lessons for both parents and kids, but most of all he wanted to make people laugh.

“So many terrible things are happening right now around the world. Can we just take a breath and just laugh?” said Perry.

Perry also spoke to Hot Topics about how his new movie studio in Fort McPherson is reshaping Southwest Atlanta.

“When Fort McPherson closed, it left a lot of businesses and people around in that area without income coming in to the neighborhood. To be able to revitalize and bring that back and also be a steward over what is an important, sacred ground it’s pretty powerful,” said Perry.