Disney is known as one of the highest-paying production companies in the world when they want a specific actor for a role.
Will Smith reportedly made $12.5 million upfront in Aladdin as “Genie.” He reprised the role made famous by Robin Williams in the animated version of the movie. Many believe that his contract also included part of the box office pull and from the sale of merchandise.
The movie’s immense success, which was a bit of a surprise, has been attributed to his name recognition and social media.
The Movie Is Will Smith’s Most Successful Hit
Will Smith is known for having some serious impact at the box office, but Aladdin has proven to be his most successful one, surpassing “Men in Black,” “Ali” and “Suicide Squad.”
He celebrated the movie’s success on Instagram with a post where he expressed his thanks for fans in many languages, including the languages that were dubbed for the movie to be released all across the world:
“To be in this game as long as I’ve been in this game, and to have my biggest movie at this point in my career, I just want to say thank you,” he says.
“I’m honored and I’m Speechless,” he captioned the video, giving a nod to the film’s soundtrack. “The only thing I can say is… Thank You.”
By the end of its run in theaters, Aladdin grossed $356.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $695.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.051 billion, against an estimated production budget of $183 million.
He’s Now Considered One Of The Highest Paid Actors In Hollywood
Will Smith has had quite a career, with some soaring highs and some extreme lows. For a while, there was some fear that he had lost his spark and that he wouldn’t be able to bring people to movie theaters. However, his movies have started to do so well that he is now considered one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, competing with names like Leonardo Dicaprio and Robert Downy Jr.
Part of his change in luck was because he was willing to make the jump to streaming, having made “Bright” with Netflix before major names were willing to work on movies made for streaming.
While the success of Aladdin was great, the reviews for Will Smith’s turn as the Genie also helped to bring him back into the limelight. Many reviewers called him the “highlight” of the movie. Despite the fact that there was some backlash against his role to start, his social media had many times the number of views and shares of the other actors in the movie. Many question whether or not any other actor could have taken on this iconic role.
The Money Wasn’t His Main Focus
When Disney and Guy Ritchie (the director of the movie) approached Will Smith, he immediately connected with the movie. Of course, he was nervous about taking on such an iconic role, especially after the death of Robin Williams. It was his son Jaden who encouraged him to take on the role.
However, he was intrigued because it would give him the chance to show off skills that he had not been able to show off in some time.
“To be able to sing, dance, rap, act, and do action with special effects all together in one film was a spectacular job. It’s like I’ve been training how to do this over the last 30 years for this role—but what I’m most proud of is the message, and the beautiful themes at the center of the story,” said Smith.
“The idea about self-worth: being yourself, honoring yourself versus wanting to change yourself for other people, and learning to be confident and to be empowered by who you are is what this movie is all about, and I’m excited to be a part of sharing this message with the world. This is why I am an artist—to have a purpose to share messages that can help people.”
Aladdin was one of the most successful remakes that Disney has tried so far, and it certainly set the standard for some of its upcoming live actions. A large part of that success can be attributed to Will Smith, who earned his massive paycheck for the role.
Not only did he help the movie, but he gave people a path forward to take some of these iconic roles by other beloved actors and make them into their own.