I didn't see After Earth, but I think there were a number of problems. First, notably, Smith's filmography where he's playing other than Will Smith, slick jokester, is a decidedly low-grossing bunch, with the sole exception of Pursuit of Happyness, which did well mostly off legs. Second, despite the success of Karate Kid, no one really wants to see a Jaden Smith vehicle. Finally, that "patterns" interview? Methinks Will needs some better PR management.
Or he could just stop believing and espousing (and making films about) cult beliefs. Fix the underlying problem, rather than the spinning thereof.
It must be Will Smith Flop Analysis Day. I heard them talking about it on the new EW Sirius station this morning and read this blog post written by a different EW writer on the topic during some downtime at work: http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/06/04/will-smith-after-earth-aftermath/The point of both was that Will Smith needs to branch out a bit. He's getting a little long in the tooth for his smart alec schtick but seems to be afraid to really branch out (i.e., his turning down the Jamie Foxx role in "Django"). Also, no one really wanted to see a movie starring his kid, who had to carry the movie solo AND act against green screens without the experience to pull it off. Add that to my completely unscientific survey of the three 15-year-olds I know who wanted to see "The Hangover Part III" for the second or third time last weekend, and he's got some problems.
His Django turndown actually makes some sense. He said that particularly in the script, Django was clearly the secondary character to Schultz. Indeed, Django (even if he's top billed and the survivor) isn't a terribly interesting character. Also, note that Smith hasn't done an R-rated film in 10 years (since Bad Boys 2) and may be concerned that doing one (particularly one that's as hard an R as Django was) will hurt his reputation.
How Did This Get Made is doing After Earth next week.I'm just saying. I'm glad they're doing it, because I used my MoviePass to see it one day (it was the only thing starting late enough for me to see it after work and ending early enough for me to make it to work) and I wanted my money back. My $1.16. I wanted that back.
And the interesting thing is that Hancock is Will Smith's best film since...wow, looking at his filmography, probably Men in Black (though I have a soft spot for Enemy of the State, especially if you think of it as a sequel to The Conversation).