Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Movie Season’s Biggest Shock: “King Richard” Is Will Smith’s Lowest Grossing Film Ever, Even with Awards Buzz


The pandemic claims another victim today.

Will Smith’s “King Richard” is lost most of its theaters. After a month in release, “King Richard” is wrapping up its run in movie houses with just about $15 million in grosses. It’s Will Smith’s lowest grossing movie ever.

No one knows for sure why this happened. Was it the film’s availablity on HBO Max? No one knows because HBO Max doesn’t give numbers and they haven’t once bragged about viewership for this film.

Was it the subject matter? It shouldn’t have been. Richard Williams is the father of Serena and Venus, he put them on the map. Their story is compelling. The tennis in the movie is terrific.

The acting can’t be questioned. Smith is on his way to an Oscar nomination. So is Aunjanue Ellis. There may be other nominations, too. And the marketing/PR: couldn’t have been better.

But skepticism about going to theaters, coupled with apathy, did them in. And this was while Will Smith was fairly present in the public eye. He had a memoir out, “Will,” and a NetGeo TV series. He was all over the news, it seemed, every day.

Nevertheless, “King Richard” did worse than some real Smith stinkers, like “Collateral Beauty” and “Gemini Man.” Now “King Richard” will sit in 207 theaters this weekend and drain out. For Serena and Venus, it’s a rare loss. But who knows? Maybe some Oscar nods– and wins– will give it life down the road.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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