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article image'After Earth' is all about the Smiths

By Tim O'Brien     May 30, 2013 in Entertainment
Even though M. Night Shyamalan directed "After Earth," this film is about the Smith family, as in Will and company. He is one star, and his son Jaden is the other. And he, along with his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, are listed as producers.
Sure, the director matters, and Shyamalan also is a producer and a co-writer. But, can that overcome the domination of the Smith family on this one? Perhaps that all depends on the outcome at the box office.
In a nutshell, "After Earth" is about humans who come back to Earth after escaping it years earlier. It is the younger Smith's character who must go out and save the day, and fight back fear. All in all, this is a film designed for the younger Smith to launch himself into the stratosphere like his dad. The film may not do that, but it can't hurt, no matter how much it makes or the reviews.
1. "After Earth" - 3,000+
2. "Now You See Me" - 2,985
3. "The East" - 4 theaters
4. "The Kings of Summer" - 4 theaters
Look for "After Earth" to land in more theaters as Friday arrives. "Now You See Me" is a thriller about illusion, magic and robbing banks. "The Kings of Summer" is a kid flick which may hit the older crowd, too, as it tries to capture those days of summer when younger.
But, there are those movies with smaller theater counts. Sometimes there is a danger when movies with a small opening get all their headlines early and when they go wide, they are ignored. Those small openings make the per screen average stick out but tracking them as they go wide wains a bit. However, when award season comes, it is many of those style of films that get nominated. So, take note of the smaller openings and one may see the next best actor or actress.
That does not mean this weekend's films are in that boat, however, but it is what "The East" strives to accomplish. The theme of environmentalists going after corporations may play better in Hollywood than the rest of the country.
Now, after a wild Memorial Day holiday weekend with numbers all over the place, this weekend should settle things down a bit. The main headline from last weekend was that the holiday weekend was one for the records books. Tracking the three-day, four-day, five-day numbers made things interesting, however, and confusing. The estimates, for the most part where on target. But, depending on which numbers one used, it made for some very different headlines than others because of the extra day. Plus, the earlier start for "The Hangover III" added to the fog.
And, over the past several years, it seems reviews, for the most part, matter less and less. With everyone chiming in, it is no longer about writing a good piece. There is now too many of them, making them seem more and more useless.
Are the days of Roger Ebert and the art of the movie review a thing of the past? Not entirely, because they still matter on that level, but now they are watered down. To build that movie review trust, one must do them every week, good or bad - - and that is a full time job.
More about movie reviews, Hollywood, Movies, Theaters, Will smith
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