Few Hollywood stars these days can match Will Smith‘s list of accomplishments. First, he launched a Grammy-winning music career. Then, he parlayed that into a hit NBC sitcom before — finally — making his way to Hollywood. And the rest, as they say, has been history.
Since the mid-1990s, Smith has been a consistent box office draw with a sharp eye for hits — well, for the most part — and charisma to spare. He’s headlined the Men in Black and Bad Boys franchises and earned two Academy Award nominations.
Yet, for all his famous roles, we’ll bet even his biggest fans won’t be able to guess which film is Smith’s biggest box office hit.
Will Smith’s incredible movie career
After all, Smith has a lot of mainstream hits on his filmography. 1995’s Bad Boys launched his leading-man career and led to an even more successful sequel eight years later. Then, he secured his blockbuster status with movies like Independence Day and Men in Black.
But Smith’s big-screen success hasn’t even been limited to sci-fi or action releases. Even thrillers (Enemy of the State), dramas (The Pursuit of Happyness) and romantic comedies (Hitch) would earn more than $100 million domestically with Smith in the lead.
More recently, Smith’s resume has been a bit spottier. As franchises and brands have taken ahold of Hollywood, star vehicles like Focus and Concussion haven’t done as well as they once might have. Then, of course, there’s the costly misfire of 2019’s Gemini Man. But that’s not to say Smith’s best days are far in the past.
His biggest hits are ensemble pieces
To the contrary, the actor has evolved with the changing nature of the business. As he did in Independence Day, Smith has found his greatest success in playing a key role amid an ensemble cast. Even with inflation, that 1996 film still remains his second-biggest worldwide hit, thanks to its $817 million total.
Domestically, Smith’s second-biggest movie is Suicide Squad. This release, of course, takes advantage of the built-in DC Comics audience. Again, very few actors can singlehandedly guarantee a hit movie. After all, Mission: Impossible is more of a brand now than Tom Cruise himself. So Smith’s decision to join Margot Robbie and company in a team-up comic book movie was smart.
Likewise, the film currently at the top of Smith’s hit list takes advantage of pre-existing material and an ensemble cast of actors. That title is 2019’s live-action Aladdin remake, which sits as the only one of the actor’s films to crack $1 billion worldwide. Granted, its success is partly due to inflation. But nonetheless, it remains the highest-grossing film of Smith’s career.
What Will Smith has coming next
With that box office total, it’s no surprise Disney is eyeing either an Aladdin sequel or a prequel/spinoff focused on Smith’s Genie. The studio hasn’t officially greenlit either yet though. But in the meantime, the actor is definitely keeping himself busy.
In late 2019, he provided the lead voice role in Fox’s animated action-comedy Spies in Disguise. Then he began 2020 with Bad Boys for Life, the long-awaited third installment in the series Smith started with Martin Lawrence 25 years earlier.
Beyond that, Smith has a proposed Bad Boys 4 in the pipeline as well as a sequel to his 2017 Netflix release Bright. According to his IMDB page, he’s also slated to play Venus and Serena Williams’ father in King Richard and Harlem underworld figure Nicky Barnes in The Council. With such a broad talent, who knows what the future may hold for Smith?
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