Will Smith‘s star power was not enough to stave off the M. Night Shyamalan curse and keep his sci-fi film After Earth from crash landing into the abyss of box office floppers. The Shyamalan-directed sci-fi film underperformed miserably for it’s debut at the weekend box office, perhaps becoming the biggest flop of the year so far.
No movie was expected to unseat the reigning champ Fast & Furious 6 from the North American box office top spot this weekend, but After Earth, which was lead by Will’s son Jaden Smith, was projected to debut in second place in the $35-40 million range. However, Louis Leterrier‘s Now You See Me magically pulled off an upset on the Smith’s with just a $28.1 million haul. After Earth bowed in third place with $27 million, putting the film in between last year’s notorious sci-fi bombs John Carter ($30.2 million) and Battleship ($25.5 million).
Will Smith has been cleaning up at the box office “For nearly two decades,” so what happened? It’s easy to blame it on the directing, because Smith has delivered a number 1 film every summer for almost 20 years (Made in America debuted at No. 2 in 1993),” while director Shyamalan has been the punching bag of Hollywood since wowing audiences with “The Six Sense”.
Even though Shyamalan is notorious for pumping out duds, he’s not the only one responsible for this intergalactic disaster. Critics had a field day with Jaden’s acting abilities and Will Smith’s writing. One critic even suggested that “After Earth” has become Will’s Oprah couch-jump.
On the other hand, Sony is still betting on Smith’s international appeal to turn things around for the film just like it did for Men in Black 3. Last year the threequel earned domestically just $179 million, or $11 million less than Men In Black 2. However, it still became a hit because of the $445 million in international ticket sales, nearly double what its predecessor made.
Check out how the top ten performers did at the weekend box office below, according to Box Office Mojo.
- Fast & Furious 6 $34.5 million
- Now You See Me $28.1 million
- After Earth $27 million
- Star Trek Into Darkness $16.4 million
- Epic $16.4 million
- The Hangover Part III $15.9 million
- Iron Man 3 $8 million
- The Great Gatsby $6.3 million
- Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani $1.7 million
- Mud $1.2 million