‘After Earth’ Fails at Box Office Opening

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Ever since “Independence Day’s” $50.2 million debut during Fourth of July weekend in 1996, Will Smith has been the undisputed king of the summer box office.

He’s led films like “Men In Black”; “Bad Boys II”; “I, Robot”; and “Hancock” to massive grosses — both domestically and around the world.

But his latest effort, “After Earth,” landed with a major thud on opening weekend, grossing just $27 million (distributor Sony told outlets it was expecting $35 million before the weekend) and opening in third place with a tepid “B” CinemaScore.

The $130 million M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi film, based on an original story idea by Will Smith himself, also starred the A-lister’s son, Jaden. The father/son duo previously found success with 2006′s “The Pursuit of Happyness,” which earned $163.6 million, but this time around, the casting gimmick wasn’t enough to get audiences into the door.

“After Earth’s” opening weekend was Smith’s lowest summer debut since his first wide release, “Made In America,” which bowed with $11.8 million in 1993. Discouragingly, “After Earth” opened with even less than Smith’s oft-ridiculed “Wild Wild West,” which wrangled $27.8 million in its opening weekend in 1999.