(AllHipHop News) Will Smith was essentially “Mr. Box Office” for a multi-year stretch in the 1990’s.
From 1995 to 1999, the rapper-turned-actor starred in the blockbusters Bad Boys, Independence Day, Men in Black, Enemy of the State, and Wild Wild West.
Smith’s career also features starring roles in several other commercially successful movies which helped him become a global superstar with a lifetime gross of over $3.2 billion.
Up next for the show biz veteran is leading the Netflix original film Bright.
Vulture captured quotes from Smith while he took part in a Comic-Con panel covering the upcoming action thriller.
Smith spoke about the effects of social media on modern Hollywood’s difficulty creating A-list superstars like in the past.
“There was a certain amount of privacy and distance that you had from the audience, and ‘only on July Fourth’ did you have access,” he expressed, referring to the tradition of big summer flicks being released during July 4th weekend. “That [limited] amount of access gave you a bigger-than-life kind of thing, but this shift into this new world is almost like a friendship with the fans.”
The 2-time Academy Award nominee continued, “The relationship is less like the time that you could make Madonna, Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise into these gigantic figures. You can’t create that anymore. The shift is to, ‘We’re best friends.’”
Bright also represents a vital shift taking place in the industry.
The reported $100 million production will premiere as a streaming exclusive on Netflix.
Using his own children as an example, Smith discussed Millennials’ tendency to embrace both theater releases and digital content.
“It’s a great study to see how they still go to the movies on Friday and Saturday night, and they watch Netflix all week. It’s two completely different experiences,” said Smith.
Besides Bright, Netflix has produced the films Beasts of No Nation, Burning Sands, Imperial Dreams, and more.