Will Smith said that he wasn’t satisfied by “I Am Legend” opening with $77 million in 2007 in the US.
It was also the biggest December opening for a non-Christmas release at the time.
Smith told Oprah Winfrey that he was only excited “for 30 seconds.”
Will Smith said that he wasn’t satisfied by his film “I Am Legend” becoming an instant box office success.
Between 2002 and 2008, Smith starred in eight consecutive No. 1 films that made over $100 million domestically: “Men in Black 2;” “Bad Boys 2,” “I, Robot;” “Shake Tale;” “Hitch;” “The Pursuit of Happyness;” “I Am Legend;” and “Hancock.”
“‘I Am Legend” opened to over $77 million dollars in the first three days, just in America,” Smith recalled in a new episode of season one of Oprah Winfrey‘s Apple TV+ show “The Oprah Conversation,” released on Friday.
It was also the biggest December opening for a non-Christmas release. Despite this, it wasn’t enough for the actor and he vividly remembered a phone call at the time from his manager, James Lassiter.
“I’m excited for 30 seconds, and then my mind drifts and I say to J, ‘Hey, why do you think we missed 80?” Smith recalled. “He said, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘No, it was 77, do you think if we would have adjusted the ending? Because I wanted the ending to feel more like Gladiator.’ He’s like, ‘It’s the biggest opening in history, ever. What are you talking about?’ I’m like, ‘J, I get that, I’m just asking why do you think we missed the 80?'”
“It’s the only time he ever hung up on me,” Smith added.
The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star described the situation as the “subtle sickness of material success,” in which nothing is ever enough and there’s a desire for more.
“You get to the point where even winning is miserable, because you gotta now top that,” he said.
Smith’s box-office streak ended with his 2008 film “Seven Pounds,” which was topped by Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man” during its opening weekend.
“It hurt but I was right on the edge of realizing I needed that, that I had to detox,” Smith told Winfrey.
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