Will Smith Calls 'After Earth' the 'Most Painful Failure of His Career'
By Jackie Willis
Turns out, Will Smith wasn't too thrilled with After Eartheither.
The 2013 M. Night Shyamalan sci-fi film starred both Will and his son Jaden Smith, and was one of the actor's box office bombs, grossing only $243 million globally ($27 million on opening weekend) on a $130 million production budget. When you compare this to his other films -- Hancock made $624 million while Hitch made $368 million-- it's easy to see why Smith saw this as a "failure."
He even tells Esquire magazine that the negative reviews of After Earth were more of a blow for him than Wild Wild West, which made a meager $57 million on a reported $170 million budget. At least After Earth made a $113 million profit!
"Wild Wild West was less painful than After Earth because my son was involved in After Earth, and I led him into it. That was excruciating," the 46-year-old actor tells the men's magazine. "That was the most painful failure in my career."
Will adds that he had a wake-up call that put everything in perspective. "After Earth comes out, I get the box-office numbers on Monday and I was devastated for about twenty-four minutes, and then my phone rang and I found out my father had cancer. That put it in perspective -- viciously," he recalls. "You can't win enough, you can’t have enough money, you can’t succeed enough. There is not enough. The only thing that will ever satiate that existential thirst is love."
The A-list actor has lots of love and respect for his teenage son. "Jaden, my sixteen-year-old, he has one pair of shoes. He has three pair of pants and he has five shirts," Will bragged. "He has refused to be a slave to money. I so respect that."
Which of Will's film flops did you prefer: Wild Wild West or After Earth?