Will Smith has had his string of hits and misses at the box office, and probably one of his most known flops was the 1999 western “Wild Wild West.” While the action-comedy did give audiences a catchy theme song (and introduced fans to Enrique Iglesias with “Bailamos”), the $170 million dollar flick bombed at the box office and made a total of $222 million worldwide. Plus, the critics weren’t “wicky, wicky wild” about it either.
During a Cannes Lions panel, the actor revealed that he took that role at a time when he was more concerned about being a movie star than creating projects he was passionate about.
“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning,” Smith expressed. “I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag — around ‘Wild Wild West time’ — I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it.”
The “Suicide Squad” actor continued by admitting that he felt like he tricked his fans into seeing the film, which he wasn’t super pumped about either.
“I consider myself a marketer,” he stated. “My career has been strictly being able to sell my products globally, and it’s now in the hand of fans. I have to be in tune with their needs and not trick them into going to see ‘Wild Wild West.’”
He also noted that nowadays people know if a movie will be a disappointment sooner than they used to, “Back in the ’80s and ’90s you had a piece of crap movie you put a trailer with a lot of explosions and it was Wednesday before people knew your movie was s**t,” Smith said. “But now what happens is 10 minutes into the movie, people are tweeting ‘This is s**t, go see Vin Diesel’.”
Relive the “Wild Wild West” glory with Smith’s performance from the 1999 MTV Movie Awards.