The 4th of July is missing something. We’ve got our fireworks, backyard barbecues, but where is Will Smith? Ever since 1996 when Independence Day (very fitting title may I add) came out on July 2nd, Smith has been known to deliver a hit movie after hit movie on the 4th. In many ways this coming weekend is not in honor of our independence but of Will Smith’s achievements..
The odd thing about his 4th of July successes is that none of them have been as great as his first. Although he’s known for bringing in audiences, his biggest audience was for Independence Day and he has never been able to repeat those numbers. That being said, many of the other films that he was in on 4th of July, would have surely bombed without him.
So! We ask you, is Will Smith the box office champ we think he is? Check out the numbers below and then vote!
The Peak – Independence Day:
In the Roland Emmerich‘s film, aliens were coming to attack and destroy Earth. With the help of ex-scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), Captain Steven Hiller (Smith) battles the aliens and saves Earth and the people in it. Smith, already a superstar with his big hit Bad Boys and his television series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” but this film showed that he had the star power to sell out one of the biggest movie weekends of the year.
Opening night the film made $66 million at the box office and it went on to gross $817,400,891 worldwide!
Second Shot – Men in Black:
In 1997, Smith teamed up with Tommy Lee Jones in Barry Sonnenfeld‘s hit Men In Black. This movie follows Agents Jay (Smith) and Kay (Jones), members of a top-secret organization established to monitor and police alien activity on Earth.
Smith found the formula that works, saving Earth from aliens that are trying to invade it. The film opened to $51,068,455 and made $589,390,539 worldwide. Not as big as Independence Day, bit this film was not as easy to sell, and those numbers definitely aren’t anything to complain about
This sci-fi comedy is such a comic relief and hit with audiences that it lead to…
Yet Another Second Shot – Men in Black II:
With the same director (Sonnenfeld) and male leads (Smith and Jones), Men in Black II was an even bigger hit than the first. The chemistry between the two actors is what gives the movie personality and makes people want to watch. Not to mention all the alien scenes with the special effects and the super hot Lara Flynn Boyle as the bad guy.
Although, the movie did well opening at approximately $52 million, and $441,818,803 worldwide. Sadly the drop off mean there wouldn’t be a third film, although recently there have been rumors coming out of Sony.
Sadly, after this film, Smith literally had to carry his next film on his back kicking and screaming…
The Wild Card – Wild Wild West:
This one is a little confusing. This is not one of his best films, but even when the film is lacking, Smith can still sell tickets. He was able to play a civil war hero Captain James West in Sonenfeld’s 1999 movie, Wild Wild West. In this movie, Jones is replaced by Kevin Kline as Smith’s side-kick. Needleless to say, a sequel was never made, but Smith did prove that his name alone could sell millions a tickets even if the film is shit.
Opening weekend only pulled in $27,687,484 and $113,804,681 worldwide. Good thing his next 4th of July film was…
Back on Top – Hancock:
In 2008, Smith played a superhero in Peter Berg‘s movie Hancock. As the movie tag-line says, “There are heroes. There are Superheroes. And then there’s Hancock”. Smith portrayed his character so well as the drunk, don’t give a shit man with the superpowers that saves lives but damages property along the way.
This film opened to $62,603,879 and grossed $624,386,746 worldwide, breaking many records, but still not his first ever record for Independence Day.
So what do you think?