Will Smith, Academy Award-nominated actor and Grammy-winning rapper, is well-known for his blockbuster movie career that dates back almost 20 years. Yet, even though his new film, Focus, led this weekend at the box office, the $19 million it drew in pales in comparison to what many of his other movies once raked in on opening weekend. While some critics think that Smith’s days as a leading movie man are over, others speculate that the movie appeals to adults during a time when theaters are already overloaded with adult-oriented films.
Huffington Post reports that 88% of this weekend’s movie patrons who saw Focus – an R-rated film that details a professional con artist’s (Smith) involvement with a dangerous temptress (Margot Robbie) – were adults. Will this ultimately hurt the actor’s career? Some tend to think so.
A few people speculate that Smith’s new movie will drive a wedge between himself and younger movie-goers who may not remember him from prior movies that greatly appealed to all ages. Others feel that his choice to make 2013’s After Earth with son Jayden Smith was the beginning of the end for Smith’s long-run of being one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
However, it all may simply boil down to the timing of the film’s release. Forbes reports that of the 88% of adults that saw Focus this weekend, over half of them were female, ages 25 and older. With the high-grossing, female-oriented Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters right now, people may want a break from adult-themed movies. Perhaps others just want to see Smith in a new comedy to help lighten up the mood after a string of this year’s drama-filled releases.
Movie critics seem divided on Focus. While some praised the film, others couldn’t wait for the movie to end. Most agree, though, that it’s better than his last film, After Earth.
Nevertheless, Smith seems to be taking it all in stride. Now that he’s tasted a prior defeat at the box office with After Earth, he feels that some of the pressure is off his shoulders.
“It is a huge relief for me to not care whether or not Focus is No. 1 or No. 10 at the box office.”
Regardless of whether Will Smith was concerned over Focus reaching the top spot at the box office, it did just that. It may not gross as much as Hancock or Independence Day did, but according to Focus’ writers and directors, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, it was never intended to.
(Image via GoErie.)