Will Smith hit a low when ‘After Earth’ crashed at the box office but critics of his career path and moviemaking decisions have conveniently forgotten what he’s achieved.
In the last 20 years the actor has starred in 14 films grossing more than $100m at the box office starting with ‘Bad Boys’ directed by Michael Bay, which grossed $125m in 1995.
Will Smith has played the lead in some of the biggest blockbusters ever produced. 8 of those films, including ‘Hitch’, ‘Hancock’ and ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, have grossed over $200m each. His top 3 films (Men in Black, Independence Day, I Am Legend) have a combined gross of more than $1.3 billion.
In fact, ‘I Am Legend’ was a huge risk particularly as there were no other lead actors in the film and its success was entirely based on him being able to carry the story forward with his character. That alone is a monumental undertaking for any actor who had to shoulder a massive, high risk investment bet from a studio that was venturing into uncharted territory.
Then, in terms of total box office revenue, Will Smith movies have earned $2.7 billion globally, a gigantic figure for any actor who’s supposedly ‘failed’ because of one flop.
It’s sad to see that some feel it necessary to criticize Smith, and to talk about ‘After Earth’ as a disaster, and that now he has no value as an actor when he’s proved consistent at theaters in the past on countless occasions.
Regardless of star value or perceived value the average Joe can only dream of having the success that he has had. Despite his fall from grace in ‘After Earth’, simply categorizing him as a failed actor is absurd when most of us would be ecstatic to be in a movie that grosses even $1m.
So while Smith promotes his new film ‘Focus’, I think the haters out there should reflect on his 1 failure, and count how many failures they have. No one is perfect. No studio is perfect. Filmmakers fail, and actors don’t always succeed, but that’s part of life.
The reality is Will Smith is one of the biggest box office success stories in motion picture history, and that record hasn’t been tarnished by one film. What he does next will be very interesting. Have you seen ‘Focus’ yet?