“Focus” topped the weekend box office charts with $19.1 million, but the heist film didn’t make off with as much loot as many analysts expected.
The film had been expected to earn between $21 million to $23 million. Cue breathless stories about whether or not Will Smith’s fastball has lost some heat. The debate may be excessive. “Focus” shows the limits of star power generally, not Smith’s particularly.
Charisma lacks the punch it did ten years, particularly given that advances in digital technology and the growth of fanboy culture mean that films can’t just be films any more to succeed at a high level. They must be events. Would “Focus” have performed better had George Clooney starred in it or Brad Pitt?
“Focus,” released by Warner Bros., cost $50.1 million to produce and debuted in 3,323 locations. It ranks as Smith’s second weakest debut in ten years, behind “Seven Pounds” and its $14.8 million opening. The picture will need to do well overseas, where Smith remains a big draw, to make money.