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Fast 6 tops US box office, as Will Smith flick tanks

Fast & Furious 6 remained in the lead at the North America box office for a second weekend, figures showed on Monday, but the big story was the dismal showing for Will Smith's After Earth.
The Straits Times - June 4, 2013
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Fast 6 tops US box office, as Will Smith flick tanks

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Fast & Furious 6 remained in the lead at the North America box office for a second weekend, figures showed on Monday, but the big story was the dismal showing for Will Smith's After Earth.

The post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure, co-starring the Hollywood veteran's son Jaden, made a less-than-stellar US$27.5 million (S$34.75 million) to be pushed into third place, behind crime-caper Now You See Me.

Industry journal Variety called the opening weekend a "crash landing," saying its makers must now pin hopes on the film doing well internationally, where it opens mostly in the next week or two.

"Could After Earth end Will Smith's box office domination?" asked the Hollywood Reporter, noting that the film marks his worst summer opening in two decades.

Every one of Smith's summer event movies has opened at the top of the box office, from Independence Day to the Men in Black movies, it said.

The 44-year-old is the only actor to have eight films in a row make more than US$100 million at the US box office and 10 consecutive films over US$150 million internationally, it noted.

Smith is part of "an elite male actor's club whose upper echelons" include Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise, it said. "But, as has already happened to both Cruise and Hanks, Smith is suddenly finding his status as leading man challenged."

Fast and Furious 6, the action sequel starring Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, stayed in pole position with US$35.2 million, ahead of US$29.3 million for Now You See Me with Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

Star Trek: Into Darkness, another sequel, was in fourth spot with US$16.8 million, a whisker ahead of computer animated fantasy-adventure Epic on $16.6 million at the weekend, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Slipping down to sixth from second spot last week was The Hangover Part III, starring Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis. The final film in the series, given a thumbs down by many critics, earned US$16.4 million.

Robert Downey Jr's return in Iron Man 3, meanwhile, took seventh place with US$8.4 million, while The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the literary classic, slipped two places, earning US$6.5 million in eighth place.

Rounding out the top 10 were a new entry from Bollywood, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, a coming of age drama, which earned US$1.6 million, and Mud, with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, which took US$1.2 million in sales.

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