The Quorum

Could KING RICHARD give Will Smith a rare winter hit?

Will Smith is one of the biggest box office stars of all time. Period. His films have made nearly $10 billion worldwide.

He is widely considered the king of July thanks to a laundry list of summer smashes, including INDEPENDENCE DAY (’96), MEN IN BLACK (’97), MEN IN BLACK II (’02), I, ROBOT (’04), and HANCOCK (’08). He clearly has no trouble finding an audience when he’s in action mode.

While July has been the home to his biggest popcorn-friendly action films, his dramatic turns have resided in December.

Out of the gate, Smith found success in December. He received his first Academy Award nomination for ALI in 2001, even though the film failed to recoup its $100M budget at the box office. A few years later, Smith got his second Best Actor nod for THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS. This was by far his most successful December drama grossing $163M on a smaller $55M budget.

Since then, his December dramas have struggled to find an audience. None were embraced by critics, but it was COLLATERAL BEAUTY that represented a career nadir for Smith as the film was given a Rotten Tomatoes score of 14. It was the lowest-grossing wide release of the 2016 holiday season.

But, with KING RICHARD, Smith is receiving some of the best reviews of his career, with some saying the actor is in line for his third Oscar nomination. Could it be that he’s finding success because the film is opening in November, not December? Probably not, but if Smith walks away with a gold statuette, he may want to avoid December altogether in the future.

With that said, how does KING RICHARD look on The Quorum?

Among November releases, GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE and ETERNALS lead the pack. RICHARD ranks towards the bottom with an awareness of 19. Certainly, that will grow as it gets closer to release.

As you can see below, the film got a nice bump in awareness from the trailer released in late July, but that momentum has come to a stop. In fact, the numbers have been slipping a bit. But, what’s interesting to note is that the very warm reception the film received when it debuted in Telluride on September 2nd has done little to add to awareness.

That’s not entirely surprising. While the industry looks to the fall festivals as bellwethers for Award season, the press these films receive rarely trickles down to the general public.

So, while KING RICHARD may not have received much of a bounce in awareness from regular filmgoers from Telluride, it is certainly a film to watch. While the data doesn’t reflect a breakout hit, it feels like the ingredients are there for this one to succeed. As always, we will be watching this one closely.

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