Will Smith has regained some of his former glory, and with the spotlight once again shining on the star, lucrative opportunities are following suit. Recent reports say the rapper-turned-actor earned a staggering $1 million for his appearance at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia, proving that Mr. West Philly is still treasured worldwide.
Per Variety magazine, Smith reportedly secured a seven-figure sum for his participation in the film festival, including accommodation at the opulent Assila Hotel in the city of Jeddah.
Other stars that were flown over were Michelle Williams, Chris Hemsworth, Joel Kinnaman, Johnny Depp, Halle Berry, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who is rumored to have received an even heftier payment to attend.
While it may like the few million the Saudis spent on Smith and Paltrow is excessive, an insider told Variety that such a practice is standard in “that part of the world.”
Smith, whose estimated net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth, is $350 million, sat on a panel where he shared updates on the sequel to his hit movie “I Am Legend.”
According to Smith, during his In Conversation at Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival interview, he had a call with young star, Michael B. Jordan.
He said, “The script just came in,” before collecting himself and saying that he was “probably giving up too much information.”
“Michael B. Jordan and I … you have to be a real ‘I Am Legend’ buff … But in the first one … in the theatrical version … my character dies,” he gently explained. “Everybody is like, ‘Well, wait a minute, how he gonna make a part 2?”
“But on the DVD,” he continues, “There is an alternate version of the ending of the movie where my character lives. We are going with the mythology of the DVD version where my character lives.”
He then told the crowd that he couldn’t tell them anymore.
The original 2007 “I Am Legend” cost $150 million to make but grossed $585 million in the theaters, The Standard reports.
One of the Highest Paid Stars in Hollywood
Smith’s name brings fans. He is bankable, which is why he remains one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood despite his recent embarrassment at the 94th annual Academy Awards.
Consider how Smith was able to demand a $35 million performance fee for the leading role in the 2022 Apple TV distributed drama “Emancipation.” He was paid $40 million to play Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard Williams in the movie “King Richard,” a role that garnered him his first Oscar.
Smith actually made more than both of those films combined. Business Insider reports that his compensation for the third “Men in Black” installment was performance-based, yielding him $100 million out of its $624 million total gross, only second to Tom Cruise’s haul for “Top Gun: Maverick.”
The “Independence Day” box office blockbuster has been making a lot of appearances lately, even shaking up gossip magazines with a female date at Miami Art Basel that many have compared to his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Amber Rose.
It has not been reported if he was paid to attend the art festival.