Is Will Smith's reputation as one of Hollywood's most bankable star in danger?
Is Will Smith losing his edge as Hollywood's most bankable box-office star? We've seen chinks in Tom Cruise's commercial armour in recent years, though Smith appears to be in free-fall - and he doesn't have the Mission Impossible franchise to fall back on.
His latest movie - M. Night Shymalan's After Earth - is a weak, weak effort that left audiences with little patience left for the Indian-American director and doubts over Smith's eye for a decent family flick. It's no secret that the movie star pulled out all the stops to get the sci-fi movie made, enlisting his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith as a producer and casting himself and son Jaden Smith as the lead stars.
The film failed to top the box-office, pulling in $27.5 million after a 12 per cent score on reviews aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie could now lose tens of millions should it not score big overseas. Commentators agree that the hapless Shymalan will take the biggest hit from the box-office disaster and it's possible that the major studios will no longer trust the The Last Airbender director with big-budgets, however, After Earth also proves that Will Smith's supposed bulletproof image is not so solid and that the four years between Seven Pounds and Men In Black 3 did little to maintain his position as the world's most bankable star. "One thing you've got to do as an actor is portfolio management," said an industry source, "Will went through a place where he didn't do a lot of movies, and none has been great..He could still be highly successful, but it was automatic before. Now audiences will look more carefully."
The whole debacle leaves Sony praying for profit from the rest of the summer hits. After Earth should have been the movie that alleviated the pressure on the likes of Roland Emmerich's White House House, the comedy This Is The End, Matt Damon's Elysium and Grown Ups 2 - instead at least two of those films must bring in big numbers.
Watch the After Earth Trailer:
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