Will Smith: ”After Earth’ was the most painful failure in my career’

Smith calls the box office failure of the 2013 sci-fi blockbuster 'excruciating'

Will Smith has branded 2013’s After Earth “the most painful failure in my career”.

Smith starred opposite his son Jaden in the $130 million (£85 million) sci-fi blockbuster from director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs). When it opened in the US in May 2013, After Earth became a high-profile summer flop, but Shyamalan’s film performed more respectably in other territories and eventually grossed around $240 million (£155 million) million worldwide.

Comparing After Earth to another of his less successful films, 1999’s Wild Wild West, Smith told Esquire: “Wild Wild West was less painful than After Earth because my son was involved in After Earth and I led him into it. That was excruciating. What I learned from that failure is how you win. I got reinvigorated after the failure of After Earth. I stopped working for a year and a half.”

“That was the most painful failure in my career,” Smith added.

Smith’s first lead role since After Earth comes in Focus, an action rom-com co-starring rising star Margot Robbie that opens in UK cinemas on February 27. Watch the trailer below.