With a three-decade career in showbusiness, Will Smith is one of the biggest movie stars of the 21st Century. How much does Smith make per movie?
Will Smith has made varying amounts of money throughout his career. He makes in the region of $20 million per movie, including box office incentives. He was reportedly paid $27 million by Netflix for his role in “Bright” in 2017.
For more on how much money Will Smith has made in his career on screen, read on.
The Fresh Prince
Will Smith actually began his career as a rapper in his teens, using the name The Fresh Prince, alongside Jeffrey “DJ Jazzy Jeff” Townes. Townes was performing at a house party near Smith’s home in 1885 and his hype man was late, so Smith offered to step in and the two formed a strong partnership.
The duo was eventually signed by Jive Records and was quite successful, winning the first-ever Grammy for “Best Rap Performance” in 1989.
Smith spent his newfound wealth freely and failed to accurately pay his income taxes. The IRS assessed him as owing $2.8 million in unpaid taxes and repossessed many of his belongings, as well as garnishing his future income.
The situation left Smith in financial difficulty but he was saved when NBC signed him to a contract, creating “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to showcase his talents. Becoming a star thanks to his aptitude for both comedy and more dramatic moments, Smith’s new ambition was to become the biggest movie star in the world.
After making his cinematic debut in “Six Degrees of Separation”, Smith starred alongside Martin Lawrence in Michael Bay’s directorial debut, “Bad Boys”. “Bad Boys” was a success and has since spawned multiple sequels, also starring Smith and Lawrence.
He then joined the ensemble cast of “Independence Day” in 1996. The film was an enormous financial success and Smith became the film’s breakout star, now firmly established as a Hollywood A-Lister.
In 1997, Smith starred in “Men in Black” alongside Tommy Lee Jones. The two stars exhibited excellent chemistry, contrasting Smith’s exuberant comedic acting with Jones’ more deadpan delivery.
In 1999, Smith made the one glaring error in his career when he rejected the role of Neo in “The Matrix” to star in “Wild Wild West”. “Wild Wild West” was a box office disappointment and won the Razzie for “Worst Picture”.
Still, Smith won critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his performance in “Ali” and balanced dramatic roles with sequels to his franchises with “Men in Black II” and “Bad Boys II”.
The 2010s saw a downturn in form for Smith, with “After Earth” bombing both critically and commercially. Smith took a hiatus from acting due to the experience.
Despite worrying signs that Smith’s career was in decline, he signed up for the Netflix buddy comedy “Bright”. Some questioned Smith’s decision to make a streaming-only film but he reportedly made $27 million upfront, an enormous amount in present-day Hollywood.
Though it received largely negative reviews, Smith was the biggest star involved in “Suicide Squad” alongside Margot Robbie. The film was able to make $746 million worldwide and Smith, the film’s most proven box office draw, would have made a lot in backend money.
He made a similarly bold move when he signed up to portray the Genie in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin”. The film grossed more than a billion dollars globally, with Smith undoubtedly receiving a significant box office share in addition to a reported $12.5 million upfront salary.
With “Bright” becoming one of Netflix’s most popular movies and no box office incentives for actors, Variety reported that Smith would likely earn in the region of $35 million for “Bright 2”. More than 30 years into his career, Smith shows no signs of decline.