Will Smith Earned His Biggest Paycheck to Date for This Sci-Fi Movie

Decades after welcoming an invading alien to Earth in Independence Day, Will Smith remains one of the world’s biggest stars. In the 1990s, Smith became known for his Fourth of July blockbusters. Even in 2020, the actor offered a rare cinematic bright spot with Bad Boys for Life, the year’s highest-grossing movie. But which movie earned Smith his biggest payday?

Will Smith attends the world premiere of 'I, Robot' at the Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles in 2004
Will Smith attends the world premiere of ‘I, Robot’ at the Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles in 2004 | Mark Mainz/Getty Images

Will Smith has starred in many huge blockbuster movies

The original Bad Boys was Smith’s first true movie star vehicle. Released at the tail end of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s six-season run, the 1995 movie gave the actor his first franchise. In the following few years, Smith’s string of hits continued with Independence Day, Men in Black, and Enemy of the State. In the 2000s, he led movies such as Hitch, Hancock, and I Am Legend.

Smith even turned more serious roles such as The Pursuit of Happyness into huge moneymakers. And as Deadshot in Suicide Squad, he demonstrated his willingness to participate in an ensemble cast. But Smith didn’t score his first billion-dollar movie until 2019’s Aladdin. Stepping into the role made famous by Robin Williams, the actor truly made the Genie his own.

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But he earned his biggest salary to date for a surprising sci-fi movie

For decades, Smith has been an A-list star. And as such, he’s reportedly received some huge paychecks for each project he’s taken on. But most fans will probably be surprised to learn the movie for which he was paid the most. While it might not be one of his most successful movies, Smith earned his largest salary for 2004’s sci-fi thriller I, Robot.

The movie follows Smith as a detective who believes a robot (voiced by Alan Tudyk) committed murder. Considering many of Smith’s contracts include a back-end percentage of the movie’s gross, it’s impossible to say for certain which project he’s earned the most movie from. However, his $28 million salary for I, Robot — according to IMDb — marks the most he’s been paid upfront.

Interestingly, Smith’s biggest payday isn’t tied to one of his most successful or beloved movies. At the worldwide box office, I, Robot is actually the 12th biggest hit of the actor’s career, according to The-Numbers.com. While its box office is eclipsed by many of Smith’s other movies, I, Robot still earned nearly $350 million worldwide. So it’s still a win-win for everyone.

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What is Will Smith’s net worth?

Thanks in large part to his movie career, Smith’s net worth currently sits comfortably in the $350 million range. Coming off the success of Bad Boys for Life, that total is likely to increase in the near future. After all, Smith could be making an Oscar bid with his upcoming drama King Richard.

Moreover, while I, Robot is the highest he’s earned so far, the movie is about to be topped. According to Variety, Smith will earn $35 million to appear in Netflix sequel Bright 2. That movie — co-starring Joel Edgerton — is currently in the works, though no official release date has been announced just yet.