Box Office: After Earth Opens Poorly, Will Smith Hits Lowest Career Point

after earth box office Has Will Smith hit the lowest point of his career? Certainly Wild Wild West was easily his most embarrassing low-point, but going off figures and reputation alone, his new movie After Earth, sold completely on the Smith family name and developed from the ground-up by arguably the biggest movie star on the planet, has turned out to be his worst performing summer outing of all time. After Earth has slumped in its opening weekend in the US - taking just $26.5 million since it opened on Thursday night. That's only enough for third place on the weekend charts behind Fast And Furious 6 ($34 million) and Lionsgate's surprise performer Now You See Me ($28 million). Smith's first original blockbuster since he took a three and a half year break away from our screens (his actual return last summer with Men In Black 3 collected a huge $624 million worldwide, but repeating an old character for nostalgia did nothing beyond allow him an easy way back-in), After Earth was savaged by critics (only 13% on Rotten Tomatoes) and never built up any buzz or momentum with a tepid release. After Earth - Father and Son Made for approximately $130 million, After Earth will now need heavy word of mouth over the coming weeks (which it ain't gonna get) and a reliance on international curiosity (which it probably will when it opens in Europe next Friday) to make a return. Sony were reportedly hoping for a high $30 million to low $40 million opening but $26.5 million is a major worry. There's no doubting that the studio heads will have the pitchforks out on Monday morning and there's not many in the firing line to blame for the failure other than the obvious. The weight of After Earth's failure could weigh heavy on Smith's shoulders over the coming years. Sony Pictures pretty much gave him the keys to the studio, having enough clout from the fortune he had brought them over the years to gain backing on his outlandish and ambitious plot (Smith senior received a "Story By" credit on the production), allowing him the luxury of having Jaden Smith in a co-lead role alongside himself and asking his son to carry much of the movie, as well as allowing Smith to hand pick M. Night Shyamalan for the director's chair. After Earth But it's a very public failure for Smith, with the movie sold on his family name alone. Clearly, its director was so far in the background that you would be hard pressed to know it was even a M. Night Shyamalan movie, a helmer who once carried such an authority that HE was the brand when he had a new work to show, is now a name in the business whose name a studio didn't want on the billboard. This may have actually worked to Sony's determent. Let's not forget that despite all the increasing hate that M. Night gets with every new release, his movies have always made a decent amount of cash and enjoyed added attention under his stewardship. He does undoubtedly have notoriety, but making money was never a problem for him. With Sony allowing Will Smith and son to so heavily be fronted as the selling point... this probably came over as over arrogance for the average movie-goer who weren't buying the movie as anything but a vanity project. Not that M. Night is going to regain any fans with After Earth. The movie has enjoyed a critical bashing. Deadline went so far as proclaiming that he has now moved in to the realm of "unwatchable" and even report that M. Night knew he had produced a stinker on his hands in the editing room and tried desperately with Sony to salvage the project, ultimately to no avail. Where M. Night goes from here is anyone's guess but he is dangerously close to the kind of reputation that will sink him to C-grade material. One excuse being branded around for the weak opening is After Earth's familiarity to Tom Cruise's high concept sci-fi Oblivion that opened just a month earlier, though it's hard to see the result being much different if the release schedules were reversed. fast_and_furious_6-wide As for Universal's Fast and Furious franchise, it is now reaching heights that seemed gargantuan just a few entries earlier. This sixth entry has now surpassed the GLOBAL box office of director Justin Lin's first film in the franchise, Fast And Furious: Tokyo Drift ($158 million) with $170 million domestic and is just days away from crossing the half a billion dollars mark. Fast and Furious 7 opens next summer and it's not clear yet when this series is going to hit a dip... perhaps Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson could keep making these films throughout this decade? now you see me The big surprise of the weekend was Lionsgate's Now You See Me, a mediocre movie that topped the blockbuster After Earth and is the best performing new release. A rare magic-infused heist movie, Now You See Me debuted with $27.5 million for the weekend after opening solid out of the blocks on Friday. That's $20 million more than was predicted by the studio and should make a healthy profit considering 2/3rds of its $75 million came from foreign sales. An ensemble movie starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Common with supporting turns from The Dark Knight trilogy veterans Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman - Now You See Me opened without much fanfare, but is trumpeting loud now. Directed by Louis Leterrier (Clash Of The Titans, The Incredible Hulk), produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Transformers, Star Trek) and scripted by Ed Solomon and Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt... the movie seems a collective effort of success, though the presence of Jesse Eisenberg should not be understated as he adds another hit to his resume. Elsewhere, a post-holiday weekend inevitably meant a tumble for the already out family fare, though the animated Epic from 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Pictures is still gaining numbers in fourth place. It will hit $64.7 million total after this added $16 million bump from the weekend and will be hoping from a strong showing overseas when it opens internationally on Friday. Paramount's Star Trek Into Darkness added $15.2 million for the weekend and is now at $181 million domestic in fifth. That's not far from hitting its production budget from domestic numbers... though it's the global $328 million haul that is driving profits right now. the hangover 3 review The Hangover Part III is tumbling down and is now at 6th place for Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures. Internationally the film is huge (it opened in Germany last week on a public holiday and became their biggest opening day of the year) but the US audience growing tired of "The Wolfpack" and its over-bloated $100 million budget, probably signifies it is the right time to put this saga to bed for good. It is by far the weakest entry commercially, critically and anything else movies are judged by. And finally, Iron Man 3 is showing a studio's dream of how a third movie in a franchise should perform. Marvel are still congratulating themselves over this one... it's close to an incredible $400 million domestic and has already over-taken $1.17 billion worldwide. Astonishing. Weekend Box Office Results May 31st - June 2nd (new releases in bold) 1. Fast and Furious 6 (Universal) - $34.5 million ($171 million worldwide.) 2. Now You See Me (Lionsgate/Summit) - $28 million3. After Earth (Sony) - $27.3 million 4. Epic (Fox) - $16.4 million ($64 million) 5. Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount) - $16.4 million ($180 million) 6. The Hangover Part III (Warner Bros.) - $15.1 million ($88 million) 7. Iron Man 3 (Disney) - $7.8 million ($385 million) 8. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros.) - $5.8 million ($128 million) 9. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deew - $1.3 million 10. Mud (Roadside Attractions) - $1.2 million ($17 million)
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.