“After Earth” sees Will Smith teaming up with his son, Jaden Smith, for a big-budget sci-fi adventure, but it appears box office success may be elusive for the normally bankable star. Early box office estimates have “Fast & Furious 6” once again running away with the box office.
“After Earth” is this week’s big debut, and, with a rumored budget north of $100 million, the film may only earn between $35 million to $40 million in its opening weekend at the box office, Variety reports. With the summer season producing big numbers, the estimated take for “After Earth” would be considered a disappointment, and it appears that last week’s box office champion, “Fast 6,” will outpace this week’s offerings.
According to Variety’s estimates, “Fast 6” is expected to earn around $50 million at the box office, and, with the film already earning more than $130 million in its first six days in theaters, the movie has been an incredible success for Universal Pictures. The Memorial Day weekend haul of $117 million was Universal’s highest debut ever.
Sony was hoping that a lack of competition would lead to success for “After Earth,” but, with the strong word-of-mouth of “Fast 6,” it appears the studio may have a flop on their hands. The critical response has also been less than kind to the film directed by M. Night Shyamalan. On Rotten Tomatoes, “After Earth” sits at a rotten 12 percent, with 79 of 90 critical reviews considered to be negative.
Sony has kept Shyamalan’s name out of the marketing for “After Earth,” focusing on the bankability of Smith and his son, but that appears have done little to prevent the overachieving success of “Fast 6.” Shyamalan has had a few bad years behind the camera, but Variety notes that, despite the lukewarm box office estimates, “After Earth” may be the director’s highest grossing debut to date, besting 2010’s “The Last Airbender.”
The other big debut of the week, “Now You See Me,” is expected to pull in around $15 million. The film centers on a group of magicians stars with Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher and is directed by Louis Leterrier (“Clash of the Titans”). Variety reports “Now You See Me” may beat estimates and could bring in $20 million this weekend.
“After Earth” could be a success with a strong foreign box office and may be a decent draw at the box office next weekend as an alternative to the comedy “The Internship” and the R-rated horror movie “The Purge.”