Disney's Aladdin has overcome some big early skepticism on the part of fans to become a major box office success. Aladdin has opened to $267 million dollars worldwide over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and its stars are definitely feeling the relief and joy that comes with that success.
In the case of Aladdin's new Genie, Will Smith, there's also major feelings of gratitude - sentiments he is now passing on to fans!
Here's what Will Smith shared with Aladdin moviegoers on his official Instagram:
"Thank You to Everybody who came out this weekend. #Aladdin. We LOVE this Movie! We are humbled & honored that you are feeling the same."
Will Smith remains a top-tier talent when it comes to being star. That might seem like a redundant statement, but it's not: In this day and age of social media, being in the limelight of fame can be a serious burden to a celebrity, with fans able to hurl negative comments at them in mass, on the daily. In fact, Smith faced some of the biggest "controversy" of his career going into Aladdin, as many fans of Disney's animated original didn't like the idea of Smith stepping into the shoes first filled out by the late (great) Robin Williams. The hate continued through Aladdin's marketing and promotion campaign, with clips of Smith's featured musical numbers like "Friend Like Me", and "Prince Ali", with a lot of Disney die-hards openly declaring that Smith's Genie would *the* major downfall of this new adaptation.
Flash forward to Aladdin's opening weekend, and all tracking points to moviegoers overwhelmingly loving the film. Of those audience reactions, quite a few of them highlight Will Smith's Genie as a major standout in the film. Comments like Aladdin reminds us of Smith's pure talent as an entertainer are quite common, and insightful; most of Big Will's time onscreen these days is in dramatic/action roles, like the Netflix fantasy-crime movie Bright, or DC's Suicide Squad. With films like Ang Lee's sci-fi-actioner Gemini Man and sequels Bright 2 and Bad Boys 3 all on the way, Aladdin will be the one return to a light, fun, comedic Will Smith that we get for the foreseeable future.
Disney's Aladdin is now in theaters.