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Weekend B.O. May 31-June 2 (Jaden Should Have Asked For The Car)

Weekend B.O. May 31-June 2 (Jaden Should Have Asked For The Car)

I think the New
York Times
got it right when it said in its review of After Earth that not too long ago, Hollywood stars used to buy their
children expensive sports cars as gifts. Now they give them $130 million vanity projects to star in. And after seeing the film, I
wish Jaden had asked for a Porsche instead too.

And not only that, but it’s also a devious Scientology
indoctrination scheme as well. And I’m not the only one saying that. Even Marc Headley, who was, for 15 years, a
high ranking member of the cult…I mean
church . . . and who was written a book
exposing what goes on behind the scenes there, says that AE “contains
language, concepts and imagery plucked directly from the L. Ron Hubbard playbook.”

In other words, AE is basically Will Smith’s  Battlefield
. And I don’t want to bash Jaden
who is just awful in the role, though it’s SO tempting too. He’s only
14, I’m sure he gets enough grief as is anyway.

And yes I can already hear what a bunch of you are going to
say-that we should support the film because we rarely get films about black
fathers and sons. And it’s sci-fi to boot. So that I say “so what.”
It still sucks. I would rather see a film about a gangster teaching his son about
the game, if it was a really well made film.

But the expectation was that AE would come in second this
weekend, after Fast and Furious 6. But
in a surprise it got clipped by Now You
See Me,
which got just as bad reviews as AE did. Were audiences more in the
mood for a phony film about magicians pulling off large scale heists than Will and Jaden?  Who knows? However the overseas numbers for AE
should make up somewhat for whatever shortcomings the film will make domestically.

However, the one genuine surprise this week is that a Bollywood film, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deew, actually cracked the top ten. It’s happened before and reminds us that there are whole other film industries (Bollywood, Latino films)  that are attracting large audiences that we regularly overlook with our gaze on Hollywood films all the time.

1) Fast & Furious 6 Uni. $34,538,000 Total; $170,377,000 
2) Now You See Me LG/S $28,050,000 
3) After Earth Sony $27,000,000 
4) Epic Fox $16,400,000 Total; $65,161,000 
5) Star Trek Into Darkness Par. $16,400,000 Total: $181,156,000 
6) The Hangover Part III WB $15,930,000 Total: $88,086,000 
7) Iron Man 3 BV $8,006,000 Total; $384,751,000 
8) The Great Gatsby  WB $6,265,000  Total: $128,256,000 
9) Yeh Jawaani Hai Deew Bollywood/Eros  $1,300,000 
1o)  Mud RAtt $1.200,000 Total: $16.900,000

This Article is related to: Box Office



Jaden Smith's second role as lead has earned approximately $220 million worldwide.

As it stands, despite sustained, vigorous, nearly pathological efforts at religious bigotry, Scientology smears, nepotism accusations, moving of goal posts, and hatred and fear of a possible movie franchise (and future) starring Black leads, After Earth is not a flop, not a turkey, and not a bomb.

Despite relentless efforts to crush the domestic box office, After Earth is doing well with worldwide box office, likely because foreign press doesn't take North America's entertainment media as seriously as it takes itself.

By the way, the Scientology smears are approaching slander and should have further review. Will Smith has stated he is a Christian, just as Barack Obama stated the same when he was smeared and baited as a Muslim.

This has no place on Shadow and Act.


Instead of Fresh Prince, Will brings Furious Styles to the people. Jaden is Tre. But instead of fighting to survive hostile gang bangers, they're fighting to survive hostile Earth. I enjoyed the portrayal of the father/son bond. I like that Will Smith has claimed a stake in the world scifi and changed perceptions on who belongs in the arena of futuristic fantasy.


Marie, I disagree, film critics don't like Tyler Perry because they feel his films are too esoteric, they are extremely racist and his films have nothing to do with white people. Perry has an audience and he also has a $400 million dollar empire. So obviously Tyler Perry is doing something right, he isn't waiting for white Hollywood validation, or the white or black snob critics validation he's making his movies and he's making his money.

I watch a movie because I make the personal decision to see a film or not. I also think people need to think a bit deeper here.

Hollywood is indeed a very racist place, and I think the white people in power in Hollywood don't like it when powerful blacks like Will Smith use their power to make projects they are interested in. Oprah got grief for making Beloved, she got bad reviews too, and I personally loved Beloved I thought it was a fantastic movie. Again, Oprah like Will Smith a powerful African American in Hollywood tries to make an entertaining film and they get white Hollywood's blow back I am not surprised.

People on Shadow and Act complain and bitch about black people in Hollywood not taking control and doing something different. Will Smith decided to do a science fiction movie used his star power and made his son Jaden the star. How many Hollywood films have young black teens in leading roles? Will is doing something here which I believe is positive. After Earth isn't perfect but I commend Will for what he is doing. I don't see Hollywood trying to make movies reaching African American teens.

film critics attacks on Tyler Perry are subjective they don't like his films but again at the end of the day is about whether an audience responds to the films or not. Obviously Tyler Perry and Will Smith are doing something right since those two men are two of the most powerful African Americans in Hollywood.


The attacks on this film go WAY beyond its substance. People in general seem to have an issue with the Smiths. I'm kind of indifferent about them but I don't get the level of vitriol. Hollywood nepotism certainly didn't start with them and it won't end with them either. Truth be told I just think a lot of it is racist, which I hate to say. Just do basic research on the sci-fi/comic community and you will see how racist it is. I'm also not surprised to see a black critic say he'd rather see a gangster teaching his son the ropes, either. What's sad about that is if that had been the case people probably would have reviewed it more favorably because that's the sort of thing people expect from us as black men. We'd rather see a dope boy/baby maker leading a film than something like this. SMH.


This is a weird comment thread. If you liked it, you liked it. If you didn't, you didn't – and you're allowed to do so. And I respect those who dissent or endorse the film for specific reasons that don't venture into the 'personal' or badgering ~ your personal issues or the Smith's. I'm not understanding where some people are taking this conversation (i.e. "black Americans have special problems, etc." and "hold up sit down… take the stick out of your ass" kind of comments. Really ya'll?

I called some arrogant, and I stand by that statement. I'd also like to add that some people may be projecting other issues onto the movie and in this thread that goes overboard. However, as some have stated many times before, perhaps that's just the nature of blog comment threads.


I can honestly say that this is the first time in years where I was cringing while watching a movie. The dialect they spoke sounded weird as if were a Southern/Caribbean accent mixed with eye dialect and the movie felt more like a short videogame with two to three boss fights. And this is also the first time where I can't really blame M. Night since Will Smith came up with the story himself. I won't jump on the whole Scientology thing I don't agree completely agree but this was not all good. Didn't hate it I just found this movie very boring, stiff and dull. I love this movie when it was called The Road.

P.S. Jaden Smith does not have Will Smith's charisma to carry a movie of this scale.


lol—I just read a Will interview where it sounds like he was getting ready to comment on Black folks and our collective baggage, however Jaden was smart enough to stop him. I am not familiar with this aspect of Black American parenting, and how it's different from anyone else's:

"We don’t own our children, you know. They own themselves. Not to go too far into that, talking about slavery concepts and how the black community is carrying those …"

Jerry Jones

I'm going in for the Smiths on this one. I thought the film was a great one. Well acted, good story line etc. but he'll, why is everyone handling them like this??? The movie is NUMBER 3!!! How is that a fail??? Why is the bar raised so high for them??? Talk yo shit about all the other movies out there that were worse in my opinion. Gatsby wasn't all that and who was raising an incredibly high bar for deCaprio. Come on people!!!


Zaidi Baraka, Africameleon and all you other butt hurt colored folk who feel ALL MUST AGREE WITH YOU on a god damn movie. Pull the arrogant stick out your ass.

Film is subjective. We all don't have to agree. A black father and son doesn't automatically equal GREAT MOVIE because you get a woody at the SYMBOLISM.

I swear some of ya'll are threatened by free throught.


ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL MOVIE!!! Beautiful story showcasing the relationship between a father and son of color, period.

Only a person with a slave mentality would think any different. Great life lessons in a genre that we have been purposely excluded from for too long. When it's a freed slave… everyone cheers, but when it's a father who is a General and the greatest warrior in the universe, some of us get scared and run back to the chains. Already knew it would get that reception, smdh. I could care less who doesn't agree with what I have to say, just proves my point.

blah, blah

Great message. Not so good film. The Road was better.


I think the audience rejected the film due to the nepotism, but even then people are hypocritical. From the comments I've read online people are really pissed off that Will Smith is pushing his son on to the audience. I'm not saying nepotism isn't the only reason this movie bombed, but I wonder if there is a racial element. From the negativity I've read online I've also read some racial slurs as well about Will and his son.

But even there, I think people are hypocritical. Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Cage, Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Kate & Oliver Hudson, Liza Minnelli, the list goes on and on. Tons of white actors have gotten their big break due to having connections with famous parents. I think the online bloggers and the media are cruel to Jaden Smith. Do people realize Jaden is only fourteen? Geesh, he's just a kid. It is obvious Will Smith loves his son and Jaden has proven he's has promise the Karate Kid did very well at the box office a few years ago. However, I think After Earth might have been a bit too ambitious. Also, what say did Jaden really have in being in this film? Could Jaden have said no to his father Will? I am concerned about Jaden he's only fourteen, and I wonder, if he really wants this attention at his young age. I think Will and Jada need to be smarter with Jaden's career. Why couldn't Jaden have done something a lot easier like a teen comedy?


I wonder if other POC have the same baggage as Black people when it comes to entertainment.

One minute people are yelling how the Smith family doesn't owe negroes nothing. Then, it's "as a race we need to support the Smith dynasty because when have we seen a Black father/son dynamic in a sci fi before/forget what the critics say its a positive Black film /etc"

How about it just looks like a crappy flick, is that so difficult? And for the 2nd weekend in a row in my neighborhood a child was caught in the crossfire of yet another Black thug who can't shoot straight. The child is paralyzed for life, and the suspect laughed when he was told this information. Sorry if I'm not ecstatic at the idea of watching Will and Jaden bond together; as if that's somehow crucial for all of Black America. Nevermind all this simple minded ish.


I love the discussion going on here!


I call BS! There is NO mention of any religion in the movie. Your review is a cop out to fall in line with everyone else. Did you even watch he movie?

The main issue in this movie is NO FEAR. STOP being fearful.

Every time you turn on the TV or read the newspaper, you hear reports of crime and terror. Be scared! We're going to stop you from doing this, and stop you from going here. Blah, blah, blah. ENOUGH!
You are going to deal with challenges in your life and it is important that you consider the situation, breathe, and NOT FEAR. Do what needs to be done! THINK! That is the message in this movie.

Anything else is BS! And yes, go support Will. This is a GREAT coming of age movie, sci-fi style.


The Fast & the Furious pretty much has a lock on the weekend box office, and so I don't agree with the trampling of After Earth's $27 million opening, especially since the movie's already earning money overseas in Japan and Korea and will earn more when released in other countries next week. If you look at this movie opening in context, its not the disaster its detractors are making it out to be. Bad Boys opened at $15 mil, but earned $141 mil worldwide. Enemy of the State opened at $20 mil, then earned $250 mil worldwide. Wild Wild West opened at $27 mil, then earned $221 mil worldwide. Pursuit of Happyness opened at $26 mil, then earned $306 mil worldwide. Interestingly enough, Jaden's strongest opening at $55 mil was the movie without his father, Karate Kid, and I still believe Jaden would do well if he chose to work in a project on his own merits.


*stands and applauds* Thanks to Kraig Blue, Langston, Zaidi. Your comments combined are better written than the many of the articles written on this site, and I don't say that because you like the film, but because you saw the film and found value in Black Cinema without prejudice.

Value. This is something we don't seek in each other or in the films we comment on. It is not surprising a good number of articles are negative in tone and words. It is also not surprising it is those articles that garner the most comments. And half of them are extremely……Vitrolic. This is the new buzz word.

Prejudice. Such a simple, complex word. Did you know it is defined as a preconceived notion/opinion not based on reason or experience? I have had conversations this past week with some people and in answering a question someone posed to me, I just said all that I was thinking of, unedited, but there was something dancing in the far recesses of my mind–something I could not put my finger on. I know why….my best thoughts come from when I am frustrated or angry. Like now. And I have a serious problem with the fact that when I read some S&A articles and read some comments – supposedly from Black folk; African Americans; Negroes – whateva name you chose – much of what is said is more than passing on simple gossip. No, it is coming off as prejudice. Prejudice against each other in all forms and dare I say? – I am beginning to think prejudice against the Black Hollywood films.

One more thing. I don't know who, what, where or how people heard Will Smith was a Scientologist. However, I heard Will Smith say – with my own two widdle ears – out of his mouth that he was raised in a Baptist house and he could not attack a persons' faith [Tom Cruise] when he himself believes the Son of God was born of a pregnant virgin. So if you heard Will say the same thing and got out of it that he is a Scientologist follower, then I say to you that you don't know your religions and….I will stop there. If you did not hear Will Smith say with your own two ears that he is a scientologist, but someone else, then I really hope you will think about what you are saying because it is tantamount to murdering someone's reputation. And that is Biblical, if you want to know and just plan common sense if you care about black community at all.


Boy am I glad Langston, Kraig Blue and one of favorite visitors ZAIDI BARAKA, showed up. But first, I have to say a few words on "critics", the armchair and professional types.

For the most part they're parasites who feed off the hard work of filmmakers. They don't do a darn thing except – TALK. And, to a large degree they're a monkey-see, monkey-do society of hack writers who have failed at being filmmakers. That's right, that's what I said, a barrel of monkeys who write (basically) for each other.

In reference to "After Earth", just last week they were competing to see who could write the "best" brutal "cut down" lines. Their parasitic thirst was on full display as one of America's top performers ( a black man, btw) was on the firing line. That's right, he was an easy target. And now we have lazy armchair critics (black folks, btw) piling on the easy rabbit…. monkey see, monkey do behavior, in my opinion.

So I am overjoyed the above visitors stopped by to squash the nonsense.

Speaking of nonsense, I've often wondered what type of person belittles another's religion? What compels them to talk bad about a belief they obviously know little or nothing about? Oh, I forgot, some folks love gossip… and monkey see, monkey…

Kraig Blue

I disagree with this article. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but here's how i look at this film. In the midst of explosion driven, no continuity, typical American film making; I applaud the Smith's for their fearless attempt at a non-contrived cinematic possibility. Today's movies leave most of us dry and unfulfilled after we go to them. The trailers leave little to the imagination and the plots do not support the breadth of the film. Firstly, Will Smith wrote the film, cheers. Secondly, the Smith Family co-produced the film. Thirdly, Scientology is the inventor of common sense and moral intellectual codes of living. This movie for me, is the essence of African male rites of passage, even if Mr. Smith did not understand the ancient depth of his writing, writing being a vehicle for true channeling and inspiration, he showed this American culture, what the African man and son did experientially, for the boy to pass into manhood. The "game" my good friends, is the "GAME" of life, the moral of this story and conquering fear. This is a movie you can take your family to and have a good conversation at the dinner table. I applaud the Smith's for trying, his personal spiritual beliefs are his own, and Scientology cannot overshadow his African soul. The other movies that won over audiences this weekend are cliches racially and thematically. I cannot account for peoples bad taste in cinema, but I can applaud an African American writer/actor and his family for showing us an alternative to the norm. This is not a stereotypical blaxpoitation coon fest, the likes of which has dominated black film making for far too long; it's not the buddy film, the ultra conservative Christian film or the gangster film. I, like many folks, have enjoyed some of these genre films, but I am tired of the unoriginal plots and content. With all of this said, I ask you to think about this movie in another dimension, think of of the opportunities we have to do something different and smart, if Will and his family are setting the standard high, then it about darn TIME!


My sister and I saw the the film on Saturday, and we were both entertained by it. It was predictable to a large degree, but the father & son storyline really is the heart of this film and it was fairly engrossing to watch. Overall, I gave it a solid B. Now I always suspected that the "cult" of Smith family bashers would target this film because they could smell blood when they saw the limp trailer. However, despite Sergio's opinion, which he is certainly entitled to, I don't think that most people who see this film without any strong bias, positive or negative, will walk out of the theater feeling like it was a waste of money. I also have no idea why critics are being so harsh to it. I review the arts for a living… This film is not even close to being the piece of cinematic crap that it is being panned as. It just isn't.

Zaidi Baraka

I've read the negative reviews, like this one, but went to see the film anyway, and found it to be a thoroughly entertaining and engaging film about a man (Will Smith) trying to teach his son (Jaden Smith) how to be a man on a now deadly planet earth. I went to a 1 o'clock afternoon showing, and the theater was full. I don't know what the critics were expecting, but I think that a story about a father, especially a black father, teaching his son to rudiments of responsible behavior, at a time when so many black youth are bereft of a having a father in their lives, would be received, if not sympathetically, but at least acknowledged as something more deserving than the vitriol the critics are leveling at the film. That is why I don't listen to the critics, except Roger Ebert, whose posthumous site gave it 3 and a half stars!!! As far as a "Scientology Conspiracy;" I didn't think of any of that until you 'anal retentives' brought it up!


"Danger is read… but fear is a choice." – Huh? – Um yeah, I knew from that line that the movie was gonna be a Scientology propaganda flick. The arrogance of the statement irked me. Fear is VERY real such as Anger and Love. They are each also based in bio-chemical reality. It's a choice after you've recognized the emotion in the first place.

It sounds like this film is just as bad as Travolta's "Battlefield Earth." I'm skipping it, I'd rather see FF6 again.


"I would rather see a film about a gangster teaching his son about the game, if it was a really well made film."

Here, here. Absolutley right.


I opted for now You See me. It was fun. Kind of like the magicians version of Fast and Furious.

Mark & Darla

The boy need to be place in a military school and graduate to gross some backbones if not, he will grow up spineless.

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