The futuristic thriller starring the father-son duo of Will and Jaden Smith, “After Earth,” crashed at the box office its opening weekend, falling behind “Fast & Furious 6” and “Now You See Me.” The film grossed $27 million compared to the $34.5 million of “Fast & Furious.” Sony expected the movie to make $35 million its opening weekend.
The film’s opening weekend was Smith’s “lowest summer debut since his first wide release, ‘Made in America’ … in 1993,” reports CNN. “[The film] opened with even less than Smith’s oft-ridiculed ‘Wild Wild West’... in its opening weekend in 1999.”
The failure of the film might come as a shock, as Will Smith is usually known for summer box office success, leading successful films like “Men in Black,” “I, Robot,” and “Hancock.” Smith also found success previously starring with his Jaden in 2006’s “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
Entertainment Weekly reports the director and casting might be to blame for the film’s flop. Director M. Night Shyamalan has not found much favor with audiences after films like “Lady in the Water,” “The Happening” and “The Last Airbender.” The Smith family is also not popular with the public at the moment because of accusations of Hollywood nepotism, suspicion of the family’s involvement with Scientology and eye-brow raising interviews, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Speaking about “After Earth,” Smith told Digital Spy, “It’s been an absolute necessity that the movie be a blockbuster, but I think I’m going to start moving out of that and finding more danger in my artistic choices.”
Sony is hoping the film will find more success internationally — as many of Smith’s films often do — to make up for the movie’s financial loss in the United States.
Sources: CNN News, Entertainment Weekly, Digital Spy