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Will Smith Earned Nearly $1 Million Per Every Minute in His Most Successful Franchise in Hollywood

The actor became the bonafide action star of the late 90s when he starred in Men in Black, Bad Boys, and Independence Day.

Actor Will Smith is one of the most bankable stars in the industry, despite not being its favorite at the moment. The actor has given multiple blockbusters such as Independence Day, Bad Boys, and Enemy of the State. He has also fared well in the dramatic category, starring in films such as The Pursuit of Happiness and King Richard.

One of Smith’s most popular franchises is the sci-fi action film series Men in Black. The Barry Sonnenfield-directed film series was based on a comic book of the same name and also starred Tommy Lee-Jones. Smith reportedly earned his biggest paycheck for the third film in the franchise, earning $100 million for the $225 million budget blockbuster.

Will Smith In Men In Black


Will Smith

Will Smith

Will Smith was known for his sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air before he became a global star. He received his breakthrough when he starred in films such as Six Degrees of Separation and Bad Boys. The latter along with his starring role in Independence Day established him as a leading action star of the late 90s.

Smith then went on to star in Men in Black as Agent J, a former NYPD detective who joins the Men in Black organization. Producer Steven Spielberg reportedly wanted actor Chris O’Donnell in the role after his performance in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. However, director Barry Sonnenfield reportedly convinced O’Donnell to reject the role.

A still from Men in Black

A still from Men in Black


Sonnenfield wanted Will Smith in the lead role as his wife was a fan of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and he too liked his performance in the film Six Degrees of Separation. Smith starred along with Tommy Lee Jones in the film and would go on to return in both the sequels which were all directed by Sonnenfield.

Men in Black was a huge success upon release, earning over $589 million at the box office against a $90 million budget. The film underwent many changes while shooting, with director Sonnenfield scrapping the intended conversational climax to a more action-packed one as he felt that the initial ending did not fit in well with the rest of the film.

Will Smith Earned A Million A Minute For Men in Black 3

Will Smith in Men in Black 3Will Smith in Men in Black 3

After the momentous success of Men in Black, the team of the hit sci-fi film returned for a sequel. Although considered to be inferior to the original, the film was a commercial success, promoting work on a three-quel Men in Black III. The third film came a decade later in 2012, with Barry Sonnenfield, Tommy Lee Jones, and Will Smith returning.

Sonnefield was reportedly being considered to be replaced during the initial development process due to creative differences during the filming of Men in Black 2. He was then brought back after he convinced Will Smith and the executives of his vision for the third film. Josh Brolin was also cast in the film as a younger version of Lee Jones’ Agent K.

Will Smith reportedly earned his biggest paycheck for the film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Smith earned a total of $100 million for his appearance in the Sony Pictures-produced sci-fi film. The film was made on a budget of $225 million and is one of the most expensive films ever made.

The film earned $654 million at the global box office and was considered a blockbuster. Will Smith took home $100 million of that sweet box office gold. Though it is not sure for how long Will Smith appears in the film, with a runtime of 106 minutes, it can be speculated that Will Smith earned over $1 million per minute for the film.


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