Weekend Box Office Dec. 16-18 (The $155 Million Disappointment? + What Happened to Will Smith?)

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“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” / DISNEY

When is a film that grosses $155 million (and $290 million worldwide) over a weekend considered to be a disappointment? When that film is “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” In any known universe, grossing that much over a three-day weekend would be considered extraordinary.

In fact, for the past few months box office projections were actually lower, predicting that the film would open with $100-130 million; a range that for any other film would be gigantic, but for a “Star Wars” films is considered a letdown.

Some are saying that it “fell short” only because it’s going up against last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which grossed some $248 million on its opening weekend. But that’s an unfair comparison. “Rogue One” is a standalone film which chronologically takes place before the original 1977 “Star Wars” film. Also LucasFilm has announced that there will be no “Rogue One” sequels which is a smart move. The official sequel to “Force Awakens” is being shot right now, and there’s also that “young Han Solo/Lando Calrissian” film currently in development; so one could argue that one-too-many “Star Wars” movies chronicling too many different stories would be too confusing, and maybe too much for anyone to take (except for “Star War” geeks). One has to add, however, that if the currently untitled “Force Awakens” sequel opens with $155 million, it would be seen as a major disappointment. Only in Hollywood.




Also “Rogue One” is being helped by some really great reviews, some calling it the best “Star Wars” film since “The Empire Strikes Back”, which must be a relief for LucasFilm and Disney, after all the behind-the-scenes drama that was reported during the making of the film.

A few months ago, there were rumblings that film might be in serious trouble after news that Disney was not happy with the movie and ordered some extensive reshoots of sequences directed by “Rogue” co-screenwriter Tony Gilroy. There were also rumors that Gilroy (who wrote and directed “Michael Clayton” and “The Bourne Legacy”) had supervised the editing of “Rogue”, effectively taking it out of the hands of the film’s director, Gareth Edwards. But whatever happened, it seems that this Gilroy/Edwards hybrid worked and audiences are loving it.

Also Rogue’s spectacular opening is a thumb in the eye to the so-called nationwide boycott against the film by the so-called “alt-right” who called for audiences to avoid the film because of its multi-ethnic cast, which they believe sends some kind of “bad message.” You just can’t please everyone.

The news is not-so good for Will Smith’s latest film “Collateral Beauty,” which came in 4th place with a dismal $7 million. And it has also gotten the worst reviews for any holiday film released this year. Don’t believe me? Here are a few quotes from critics:

— “Despite a few closing scenes that must be seen to be disbelieved, ‘Collateral Beauty’ doesn’t sink to ‘Seven Pounds’s’ appalling depths — which is another way of saying that in some ways, it fails to live up to its own terrible potential.”

— “Sappier than a tree lot and just as wooden.”

— “I don’t think I’ve witnessed a film this year that managed to so completely and utterly collapse into crass garbage in its last few minutes while abusing what little good will it has.”

— “It’s near impossible to make a movie with no redeeming features – but damned if ‘Collateral Beauty’ doesn’t hit the zero-stars jackpot.”

— “‘Collateral Beauty’ is only about an hour and a half long; it feels… like a lifetime.”

And that’s just a small sample of what’s being said about the film.

Thus, the question that needs to be asked here is: what the hell happened to Will Smith and his career of late?

Now granted I confess that I’ve never been a Will Smith fan. At best, I’ve found him barely tolerable and at worst completely insufferable. I’ve always seen his appeal as the “safe”, friendly black guy who white people would feel comfortable with, but just corny enough that he was “hip” enough for them. But the formula worked and for a while he was literally the biggest box office star in the world, 10 years ago. Throughout his career, Smith has starred in 8 films that grossed over $100 domestically, and two of those films made over $200 million alone in the U.S.

But he’s suffered quite a slide in the last few years, with 2007’s “I Am Legend” being maybe his last bona fide (both critical and commercial) hit. Since then, his films haven’t all done well. “After Earth”, “Focus”, “Seven Pounds”, “Men in Black 3”, “Concussion”. Ouch. (As a friend of mine recently said, try naming three good Will Smith movies. It’s tough).

True, “Suicide Squad” (released this summer) was a massive worldwide hit, but he was part of an ensemble cast. Would the film have done just as well if his character was played by another actor? No one can really say for sure. But there are no announced plans of a spin-off movie with just his character alone, while a Harley Quinn standalone film is in the works starring Margot Robbie.

It all seemed to start with the “failure” that was “After Earth.” For the average Hollywood actor, a film they are starring in that grosses $244 million worldwide, would probably feel like a gift. But Will Smith isn’t the average Hollywood actor. He’s an international superstar who’s seemingly *transcended* race (as some would say), with appeal to almost every demographic.

So a $244 million cume – as was the case with “After Earth” (although his son was really the star of the movie) – is considered a disappointment in the industry. I should note that the real disappointment was that, of the $244 million, just $60 million of that was domestically-earned. Which means that the bulk of its box office came from overseas.

Keep in mind though that the film’s production budget (minus any marketing costs, which I’m sure were significant) was an astounding $130 million, for a film that looked like it cost about half of that.

Although, in all fairness, we could, again, ask whether “After Earth” was really a Will Smith movie, or more of a Jaden Smith “failure.” But I guess, either way, it’s a “Smith movie,” and Will’s name and face were pivotal in how it was marketed and sold to audiences.

Some would argue that, even though the studio (Sony) erased him and his name from the film’s marketing campaign, word still eventually got around that M. Night Shyamalan was the film’s director. And he wasn’t exactly the most beloved Hollywood filmmaker at the time. According to then reports, Will practically insisted on Shyamalan to helm the film. It makes one wonder why he did that, especially when this wasn’t quite Shyamalan’s forte. The last time he attempted a sci-fi fantasy adventure film it was with “The Last Airbender,” which was ripped by critics and audiences.

Reviews of “After Earth” were decidedly negative, as it still ranks as Will Smith’s worst-rated feature film ever, currently at a low 11% on movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. It topped (or maybe I should say “bottomed”) 1999’s “Wild Wild West” as the worst-reviewed Will Smith movie of all time (“Collateral Beauty” is at 14% last I checked).

And so it was expected that some would start to wonder whether Will’s box office appeal was then beginning to fade – even just a little. As I said after the disappointment that was “After Earth,” his following choices would be really crucial in answering that question. Several critical and commercial duds in a row could spell danger. Just ask the director of “After Earth,” Shyamalan.

As Big Willy himself noted during a press conference for “Focus” just before that film’s release last year: “For me, this film really marks a transition in my life and emotionally and in my career. After the failure of ‘After Earth,’ a thing got broken in my mind. I was like, ‘Oh, wow. I’m still alive. Oh, wow. Actually, I still am me, even though the movie didn’t open number one. Wait. I can still get hired on another movie.’ I realized that I still was a good person… So when I went into ‘Focus,’ I completely released the concept of goal orientation and got into path orientation. This moment, this second, these people, this interaction. It is a huge relief for me to not care whether or not ‘Focus’ is number one or number 10 at the box office. I’ve already gained everything that I could possibly have hoped for, from meeting the people that I met and from the creation of what we did together.And it’s just painting. I’m going to paint, and some paintings are going to be fantastic. Others are going to be not so good, but I no longer measure the quality of myself on whether or not somebody else thinks what I painted is beautiful. [Ali] would say, ‘I’m the greatest. I’m the greatest.’ And when we talked, [he told me] it would be because how much like the greatest he didn’t feel, right? So it was almost a mantra for himself. And that’s sort of a thing that I’ve developed. It’s actually nerve‑wracking for me sometimes to walk into a new space. My experience is, if I just let myself go, it’s a whole lot easier than letting the voices [say], ‘Oh, my God! You know, ‘Focus’ may not be as good as ‘Enemy of the State!’ Rather than letting all those things come in, I just like to leap.”

Nothing like one major box office flop to give you some new sense of purpose, I suppose.

It wasn’t long after “After Earth” opened in 2013 that Mr Smith voiced his desire to take on more dangerous, edgier roles. Doing press for the film in the UK, during the summer of 2013, he said: “There’s something about making movies that just really gets me excited… I love people being wrapped in a story and being able to deliver that emotional punchline at the end. 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.”

So this shift, if you will, is clearly something he’d been pondering for some time now. And more danger in his artistic choices is something we here at S&A have been hoping for, also for some time. I remember when it was announced that he was Quentin Tarantino’s first choice to play Django, and all the discussion that followed about whether Will was *courageous* enough to take on a controversial project like that. Although I should note that he has since revealed what his reasons were for not taking the part, and they had nothing to do with fear of controversy.

So, here we are. Will Smith has said that he’s ready to make the shift from primarily family-friendly, PG13 action adventure fare, to more “dangerous” roles and projects, as he put it, in the above quote.

But given the films he’s made since then, we’re still waiting for him to act on that statement. But maybe what he said in the earlier quote is what we should instead focus on – that he essentially has stopped worrying about whether or not his movies are great, or box office hits, and he’s just going to do what feels right for him, everything else be damned.

We’ll see.

Smith’s next film, which is scheduled to be released next year, is “Bright”, produced by Netflix; and with a $90 million budget, it’s the most expensive film ever made by the company. Though the storyline is still being kept underwraps, “Bright” allegedly centers on a South Central LA cop (Smith) who is paired with an Orc cop – some sort of Tolken-like “Lord of the Rings” Middle Earth, half human/half monster type of thing. Also on his slate is the “Bad Boys” threequel (“Bad Boys For Life” as it’s currently titled) which no one on this planet has been asking for. In other words, the near-term outlook for Smith isn’t quite, bright, pun intended. Just more of the same. One wishes Smith would do something to challenge himself, like a project with a really interesting director such as Steve McQueen, Barry Jenkins, J.A. Bayona or Jeff Nichols. But he keeps playing it safe, and the result is that he’s grown stale, and audiences aren’t really responding. They clearly want something different from him; or maybe exactly what he did before he decided to change his focus following the apparent disaster that was “After Earth” – the big budget action/adventure movies done Big Willie style.

But don’t cry for Mr Smith. He’s done and continues to do very well financially, as one of the highest paid actors in the business, and one of the few whose payment deal structures include collecting a portion on the back-end. Plus, he’s still popular enough; the question is for how much longer…

And in what would be overlooked box office news, “Fences” opened in a very limited release on just 4 screens in NYC and LA, earning the second highest per-screen average after “Rogue One”, at $32,000 per screen. Hopefully the news will continue to be good for the film when it opens wide on Christmas Day, a week from today.

Disney’s “Moana” continues to hold on very well in second place with $161 million so far, and $280 million worldwide. A question I have is whether an animated film with state of the art animation, interesting characters, catchy musical numbers and cute animal sidekicks, but made with black characters and aimed at the general audience, would be just as successful. And I’m not asking for Disney or Dreamworks to make one, but let’s say if an independent animation company produced one themselves. I ask that because “Moana” is a really wonderful, charming and funny film, populated entirely with people of color; so why wouldn’t one with black characters and the same ingredients do as well? Or is it simply that Polynesian islanders are widely acceptable, but black people still just aren’t? You tell me.

And as for the only other major film that opened wide, the highly-acclaimed modern-day musical romance, “La La Land”, expanded to 200 screens this weekend, jumping from 15th to 7th place in earnings, and had the third highest per screen average after “Fences”, generating just over $5.2 million in box office revenue to date.

This weekend’s top 12 grossing films follow in the list below:



1) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story BV $155,000,000
2) Moana BV $11,664,000 Total: $161,858,745
3) Office Christmas Party Par. $8,450,000 Total $31,518,267
4) Collateral Beauty WB (NL) $7,000,000
5) Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them WB $5,030,000 Total $207,681,095
6 7 Manchester by the Sea RAtt. $4,156,338 1Total $14,016,643
7) La La Land LG/S $4,020,000 Total $5,260,166
8) Arrival Par. $2,775,000 Total $86,468,367
9) Doctor Strange BV $2,036,000 Total $226,086,027
10) Nocturnal Animals Focus $1,391,380 Total $8,812,746
11) Trolls Fox $1,300,000 Total $147,355,937
12) Allied Par. $1,245,000 Total $38,453,917

28 Comments

  1. “A question I have is whether an animated film with state of the art animation, interesting characters, catchy musical numbers and cute animal sidekicks, but made with black characters and aimed at the general audience, would be just as successful”

    This was called Princess& the frog, no?

    As for will, ehh his choices of the last 5 years have still been better than Eddie’s. Focus was cool and he carried pretty much the entirety of suicide squad.

    • As I said in my piece I mean an animated films entirely with all black characters No white characters or even princes like in Frog. And also as I also said with state of the art animation not some old fashioned hand drawn animated film like Frog which looked like something out of the mid-1980’s

    • Ask a lot of dudes and gals who saw Suicide Squad and they’ll tell you that Margot Robbie was the main attraction for a number of reasons. And that’s why she’s getting a standalone movie and none of the other characters are. Also Jared Leto as Joker was a major draw even though it turned out that he kinda sucked in it. But even he is being talked about to appear in the Gotham City Sirens movie they’re putting together. I mean really you could’ve cast Djimon Hounsou as Deadshot and the movie would’ve done the same box office because the comic book already had a built-in fanbase.

  2. Booooooorrrrriiinnngggg! This Star Wars was boooooooorrrrriiing. As my lady and I were watching this, we kept looking at each other to see if the movie had grabbed each other. Then when Forest Whitaker’s mug hit the screen, I was like, “this is Star Wars isn’t it?”. I mean, he just doesn’t fit my image of Stars Wars. Well, he is ugly and thus fits that whole Star Wars bar scene, but he just doesn’t fit in my Stars Wars.

    Look, I’m not a big fan in the first place so my antiscipation of seeing this wasn’t on high, but again…. booooorrrrring it was. In fact, about an hour into the film I was done.

    Maybe if they’d opened with a bunch of special effects and space crafts at war I might have been hooked, but without such, I found myself snacking, more than concentrating on the flick.

    Now, I had forgot about Will Smith’s flick. But I’m not ready to count him out. Well, generally I check Rotten Tomatoes’s rankings for a lead but damn… 11% doesn’t look good. Then again, what do they know about a film with a black lead? Anyway, the upcoming Oscars are looking pretty bleak for POC. Check that, Moana is still in the hunt *wink*.

    Hey, we still have Denzel and “Fences”. But yet again, another image of black folks down… down home, broke and in need. Yep, down at another juke joint, at the bottom. Wait a minute, that’s the next road Denzel will travel. Oh well, here we go again #OscarsowhiteexceptDenzel

    So Sergio, stop beating up Will Smith, at least he’s trying to represent and promote the “positive” black image.

    • @careycarey

      You clearly have not seen any version of Fences. It’s about way more than broke down Black people. As for Will, he did better when he was trying to make money instead of deep, inspirational films that suck. Denzel seems to be able to put together interesting movies still and he’s older than Will. Will did better when he was thinking about how to be #1 at the box office. And three good Will movies – 1. Enemy of the State 2. I, Robot and Ali. And I’ll even throw in Independence Day because while it may seem dated now, it was hot at the time.

      • You got me, Hellyouknow. But mission accomplished, I was trying to spark conversation. But you’re right, I’ve not doen my home work of “Fences” nor it’s author.

        I know, that’s blasphemous, huh, a black who’s not up on… ah… what’s his name? Anyway, you can’t bet your last dollar that when we meet again I ‘ll be all over… ah…. whathisname.

        RE: Will Smith, I must be one of a few who has enjoyed EVERY Will Smith flick. Well, I could have done without “Focus”. But when everybody was kicking around After Earth, I thoroughly enjoyed it and all it’s subtle messages of the relationship between a black man and his son. See, that’s an element of that film in which many couldn’t get with, especial;;y white folks and the garden variety Will Smith haters.

        Heck, in Suicide Squad he was the glue, the foundation of the flick… although as Sergio pointed out, he didn’t get the spoils of that victory. And Concussion, come on now, that was a good story… and Will’s acting held up. Okay, that accent was questionable but the flick deserved more accolades than it relieved. I I’m just saying, the man just can’t please some of y’all.

        Btw, I agree, “Ali” is probably my favorite Will Smith flick.

        And @ IG-88, I’ll take 10 nights of Medea and ignorant Mr. Brown over 60 minutes of slow-slow-slow your boat Rogue One.

  3. And second Smith may have carried Suicide squad but as the article said it’s Harley Quinn who is getting her own film. Back in 2006 Smith would have gotten his own film but now. not so.. The skinny blond white girl who was in Focus with Smith is getting her shot

    • not quite; the Harley Quinn film was just rolled into a all-women-led ensemble with Robbie Co-starring. Then suicide squad 2, and then discussed, but not yet fully confirmed, is the deadshot/Smith solo.

      Smith in an action movie will still fill seats.

      lol at Dimon honsou tho. That version would have definitely topped out by the 2nd weekend

    • I don’t think Will Smith and the studio exes want Dead Shot to roll out just yet. I think they may wait until Black Panther comes out and then roll out Dead Shot a year after that. I do think Will will get a standalone film because that was the whole purpose of him doing the franchise.

  4. Oh dang, I was looking forward to seeing crying fresh Prince of bel air. And Boooring for carey. The force wasn’t with you? Maybe madea carrying a blaster would of peeked your interest? But what do I know, I’m just a bounty hunter.

  5. “…one could argue that one-too-many “Star Wars” movies chronicling too many different stories would be too confusing, and maybe too much for anyone to take (except for “Star War” geeks).” Sums up my feelings for not seeing it. I haven’t watched any of the animated Star Wars films either.

    The best that Will Smith has ever been imo is in Bad Boys. He was very in touch with how his personality fed into his character and his scenes. He doesn’t appear to really be invested in his films anymore; to me he seems tired and empty. I think he still has potential though. Gotta find that spark again or just stop until you do.

  6. Nice piece Sergio. The comment section for the weekend BO is always adventurous.
    I think Will needs to go back to what launched his acting career, TV. He needs to transition from the “Big Willie” stage of his career into something different. Django might have done it but I agree with his reasoning for not doing it. Foxx was great in it but Leo and Waltz benefited more from their roles.
    He needs to look for some type of ‘Breaking Bad’ or other darker character types. Deadshot was a move in the right direction but even he had heroic and sympathetic traits.

  7. Maybe I like depth more than action, sappiness more than killing and true life more than fantasy, because I enjoyed Collateral Beauty. I haven’t seen Rogue One because I wasn’t thrilled with the last Stars Wars movie. I may just be old (I loved the original 3). Nor am I too impressed with the types of box office blockbusters of late. Most movies now are like the music being played – with cookie cutter predictable and way too much special effects without content or merit.

  8. To me, Will Smith is doing like comedians do once their shtick no longer is funny. He is trying to take on more serious roles, deal with pain and misfortune, and unfortunately it is a bit of trial and error. However, I think he is getting better with each film. I too wish though he would work on a Black film but at least in Collateral Beauty he had a Black love interest. I can’t recall when that last happened.

    With that said, the Star Wars movie, outside of explaining the Death Star thing, was boring beyond relief. If it wasn’t for the sudden explosion here and there I would have slept through the movie. Also, Forest Whitaker was a straight up token in that movie. Probably only agreed to be in it because “Star Wars” was in the title. Nevermind the role…

  9. I think those reviews are partly backlash for Jada Pinkett Smith’s comments when Will was snubbed for the CONCUSSION Oscar nod. Like, I really think a lot of critics are paid to make specific critiques… not think, I’m pretty sure this has been written about by entertainment “insiders.” So perhaps, everyone should see for themselves?
    But if I come back here, and I write a rant about how I’ll never get those 1.5 hrs of my life back…. You can say I told you so.

    • To be snubbed is to be at the caliber of the nominees or better and wasn’t nominated. Will Smith wasn’t snubbed for Concussion with his awful Nigerian accent and one-dimensional performance. In fact, the only black talent — in front of a behind the camera — snubbed by the Academy in the past 5 years was Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation. THAT’S IT!!!

  10. Wouldn’t it be funny if Moonlight did better than Collateral Beauty. No one would have blamed Naomie Harris if she thought being in Will Smith’s movie would have been bigger for her than being in a tiny indie.

    She’s beautiful and talented. She’s the main reason I was even considering seeing CB in spite of the saccharine and uninspired trailers. Also the rest of the cast is amazing. Will Smith is the only weak link. I loved him in his silly family-friendlier action adventures, however I wonder if he truly has the chops for serious , insightful, inspired or truly clever films.

    While I kind of understand his reason for not taking Django, I’m never excited when a star goes in to project created by another filmmaker and tries to tell them how it should be. Being a huge charismatic STAR doesn’t necessarily mean you are meant to write or direct. Trust the gifted filmmaker you’re working with. He or she will collaborate with you but understand their vision and talent. I maybe looking at this too much from a director/writer viewpoint.

    Back to Naomie Harris though. Hollywood maybe be sexist. It maybe racist. It also is probably ageist especially when it comes to women. Naomi Harris it at the time of her life when actresses are usually at the tail end of their power in Hollywood. I hope she gets a project that she that showcases her talent for a wide audience to appreciate. No the glorified cameos in Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean don’t count. They virtually squandered her abilities. She was still great in them though.

  11. I soooooo agree with this analysis. John Travolta turned down American Gigolo because he didn’t want the movie messing with his America’s Sweet Heart image, and look what happened to his career. Look what happened to Richared Gere’s career! I think he also turned down Dirty Dancing. Luckily he came to his senses years later and teamed up with Tarantino for Pulp Fiction.

    Will keeps playing it safe and is getting nowhere. Money isn’t everything. Who says no to Tarantino (or tells Tarantino what to do), when Tarantino must have seen potential him? Even DiCaprio took a minor role just so he could be in Django.

    I read somewhere that Cameron Diaz was supposed to have been Will’s love interested in Hitch, but then he decided against it because he didn’t want to stir things up with an interracial romance. Who would have cared about that today? And the controversy then, if any, would have made him appear like a riskt taker. Sidney Poitier did it 50 years ago, but you, you are concerned about people’s reaction. You’re not visionary my friend.

    I agree that Will should go back to TV and revamp his stale career there. He needs to play an anti-hero, like Tony Soprano. Someone we’re supposed to hate but secretly all root for.

    Nobody likes boring.

    Also, the one time they needed someone who’d be able to speak with a convincing Nigerian accent, they decided not to go with Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

  12. Thanks for printing those quotes from Smith. He explains in his own words why I completely reject him as an ACTOR. Actors act because they’re interested in illuminating the human condition, searching for truth, exploring emotions etc. None of those reasons nor anything close to them were mentioned by Smith. For him acting has always been about blockbusters and stardom but it’s never been about CRAFT. He has a tremendous work ethic but he’s entirely lacking in craft, a lacking shared by Tyler Perry. His other problem, IMHO, is that 3 out of his last 6 movies—Seven Pound, Concussion and Collateral Beauty—were blatant Oscar bait. I think Jada was pissed about the Oscar “snubb” for Concussion because the Smiths honestly believed that foreign accent + serious, biographical material = inevitable Oscar. I think Smith approached his early, successful career scientifically and that approach has failed him recently. Ultimately, he’s not acting for the right reasons—love of craft—and what worked when he was younger just won’t work as he gets older.

    • @Marie. Ditto to everything you said.

      Oh, and where was the outrage from Jada that Chris Rock wasn’t nominated, the previous year, for “Top Five?” That was an excellent movie and deserved more love from black, and white, audiences alike.

    • Marie “opined”… actors act because they’re interested in illuminating the human condition, searching for truth, exploring emotions etc.

      I emphasize the word “OPINED” because it’s safe to say Miss Marie has not spoken with the roughly 100,000 SAG-AFTRA members. Additionally, the decision to become an actor is a personal one, based on many factors. Many choose “acting” because it does not require high PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, or ACT test scores to “get in”. In other words it was the road of least resistance… and had little to do with lofty ambitions of “illuminating the human condition” *lol*. Yeaaaah riiiight, like all politician are in it to make their country a better place to live.

      It’s also nothing but Marie’s opinion that Mr. Smith does not care about his acting ability. I don’t think she has talked with him lately, either.

      …and “Top Five” got exactly what it deserved at the box-office and from the Oscar voters. So, all things considered, I believe Mr. Ghost can drop the pom-poms now.

      • Please name the 5 best actors of all time, and make an in depth analysis of how they delivered their performances.

        You don’t need to have a conversation with Will Smith to figure out that he has no interest in broadning his spectrum as an actor. He is one dimensional and is afraid to go the distance.

        The human experience is layered and human beings are complex beings. Therefore it makes no sense for an actor to continue delivering paper doll performances and the expect to be rewarded for it. Have you seen the Actor on Actor edition with Will Smith where he tried to be clever and give psychological high moral reason fro why he decided not to do Django unchained, along with trying to convince the likes of Benicio Del Toro that he too (Will) is on the same level as all the others on the table?

        Samuel Jackson did the right thing and asked him about the Wild West movie.

        And fair enough, maybe Will is in it for the money. But he shouldn’t sit there and encourage people to boycott award shows just because he didn’t get a nomination for something he didn’t deserve with his wife acting like she’s married to Denzel Washington.

        Nothing of what you have written makes sense.

        “Actors act because they’re interested in illuminating the human condition, searching for truth, exploring emotions etc.”

        I believe Marie means REAL thespians here. Not the wannabe pretenders. In every profession there are people who are in it for the wrong reasons and it eventually it show. That’s why only a handfull of people have the Nobel Prize.

        History eventually let’s you know who was great and who wasn’t.

        Will Smith can’t even compare his legacy to Michael J Fox’s, when in my opinion, they had the same break in Hollywood. One has a set of classic movies that can be watched over and over again, or at least referenced. The other one doesn’t

        • Is it Star Wars: Rogue One or your comment… which is the most perplexing issue on my table?

          See, tonight I’ve given Rogue One another shot. That’s right, two days ago I said “Booooooorrrrriiinnngggg! This Star Wars was boooooooorrrrriiing. As my lady and I were watching this, we kept looking at each other to see if the movie had grabbed each other. Then when Forest Whitaker’s mug hit the screen, I was like, “this is Star Wars isn’t it?”.

          But tonight I decided to give it another try. After making it to the mid point of the flick I paused it to make a sandwich. And then I stop by here and found your… your, ahh, your perplexing nonsense.

          Listen, I’m going finish the movie and then I might return. But I don’t generally have conversations with “Anonymous”. Stand behind your words. What are you hiding or what are you afraid of?

  13. Mr. Smith’s first movie, Six Degrees of Separation was his best… fantastic script and Stockard Channing. He coulda been a contender if he had cultivated that lane… the action films did nothing for developing the craft of acting.

  14. My $.02 on Will Smith. Amari is on to something concerning an actor or comedian’s shtick. The right Spike Lee Joint could be an Oscar contender. F. Gary Gray or Antoine Fuqua could create an urban action platform. Ava or Kasi could create a meaningful drama. Bottom line, time to give a black director a chance.

  15. Wow, you went hard at Will. I saw the reviews but still considered seeing it because Edward Norton is in it and he usually makes good choices. We opted for Star Wars.

    We enjoyed it. And I like the fact that it had an end. That was a cool thing to see in a big movie. No need for a sequel. How quaint.

    Will is a big star and will be famous forever. He should focus more on doing movies that he doesn’t have to carry. I think his problem is the fact that he really wants an oscar. he doesn’t realize that the only way he will get one is if he plays against type. (see Denzel).

    I enjoy your work. Good stuff.

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