From ‘Battlefield Earth’ to ‘After Earth’: Why Do Scientology-Themed Films Flop?

Will Smith (right) co-stars with his son Jaden in ‘After Earth’ Photograph by Alan Silfen/Sony Pictures via Everett Collection

Men in Black, Independence Day, I Am Legend: Almost every single Will Smith summer blockbuster has debuted at No. 1 at the box office. Until now. Over the weekend, Will and son Jaden Smith’s sci-fi film After Earth pulled in a paltry $27 million, putting it in a league with epic flops Land of the Lost and John Carter. Even Now You See Me earned more money last weekend; that movie is about teleporting magicians who rob a bank.

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