By Tribune Staff
When “Aladdin” debuted roughly nine weeks ago, there was some grumbling in many places that the film somehow didn’t have quite the charm or the polish of its ‘90s predecessor. Well whether that’s true or not remains a subjective matter, but here’s one thing that cannot be questioned: it’s become the most successful Will Smith film ever, which is certainly saying something considering the long list of past blockbusters that have featured him.
As of last weekend, “Aladdin” had hit the $1 billion mark globally. While that’s nothing new for past Disney films considering the Marvel affiliation, it’s the first time that any Smith film has reached that milestone. For Disney that news capped a particularly good week, as “Spider-Man: Far From Home” also surpassed the billion mark.
“Aladdin” was among the top seven films for over nine weeks. Among some other high points, it’s the number four grossing film among any Western title in South Korea with earnings of over $81 million as of last week. It has also earned nearly $100 million in Japan, and overall has emerged as the highest grossing film of all time in The Middle East.
Smith’s next project “Gemini Man” is coming in October. The Ang Lee production stars Smith as elite assassin Henry Brogan, who suddenly finds himself a target. He’s being pursued by a young operative seemingly able to predict Brogan’s every move. The film also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong.
It’s taken over a decade to get “Gemini Man” completed, and earlier such names as Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson had been considered for the lead. The script has also been reworked many times. It will now be intriguing to see the final result.