by Ms. Black Hollywood
Looks like somebody’s wish was granted for the live-action Disney remake of “Aladdin”-if that wish was to nab all the receipts at the box office this weekend.
The film starring Will Smith grossed more than $86 million this holiday weekend. That amount exceed projected estimates of $80 million and it shuts down a lot of critics who were serving some Jafar level hatred. The film has a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes with many reviews echoing the “original is far better” criticism. Many were slamming Smith after the trailers dropped complaining that he could never live up to comedy legend Robin Williams’ ‘Genie’ in the animated original. As the biggest name attached to the remake Smith was either going to be linked the film’s hit or miss. While some jumped in the pile on of criticism against Smith, others delighted in his return to his comedic roots. Variety noted, “It’s great to see Smith in comedic mode again, and smart of the team to base the Generie’s personality on the star’s brand rather than imitating what Williams did with the role.” Filmthreat calls it a “…wonderfully, inspiring movie…”that removes its predecessor’s “cultural insensitivity” and is “a celebration of Persian and East Asian Culture.”
Movie goers give the film a bunch bigger round of applause than critics raving that it’s “amazing”, “heartwarming”, “Will Smith killed it as the genie” and a pleasantly surprising remake that “in many ways [is] so much better than the original.”
Kudos to Smith taking on a role that he had to know going in would be heavily scrutinized given its iconic place in Disney’s annals. What Smith did right was not give us a cover or imitation of Williams as Genie, but made the character into Smith as Genie. Instead of belting out a broadway-esque version of “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali”, Smith brought what he knows-a hip-hop influence to the songs. It updates the music in a way that younger audiences can relate to.
This “Aladdin” was at a disadvantage going into the box office, while it misses the mark of some of the original, it is still a fresh take on classic fav that audiences are falling in love with all over again.