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Tom Cruise earned $70 million for MI2, but Will Smith can't get $50m?

Will Smith is too expensive, but cheaper than Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise earned a reported $70+ million for 'Mission Impossible 2', yet Will Smith's demand of $50 million for the 'Independence Day' sequel seems to be just too much. How come?

According to Roland Emmerich in a recent interview, Will Smith is just too expensive to star in 'Independence 2' after the original film only managed to earn $817 million worldwide. The 1996 hit remains a cult action blockbuster, and made Will Smith an international star that led him to becoming the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name.” - Roland Emmerich

Recently Will Smith's career took a plunge after a dismal opening for 'After Earth' that set Sony back an estimated $20 million and saw him lose some of his star power. However, the global fan base for 'Independence Day', and the anticipation for Will Smith to star in a sequel has been huge, and for many years. I can't see how 'Independence Day 2' could succeed without him, given that his personality was a major part of the popcorn fun of the first.

While 'After Earth' failed, it wasn't a vehicle his core fans were keen to watch. The film was desecrated by reviews, and also starred his son, which divided audiences and two separate sets of fan bases and age groups.

Historically films like 'MIB 2', 3, and even 'Bad Boys 2' have done well. So is Will Smith asking for too much money to star in the sequel to 'Independence Day', given that is was such a successful blockbuster in its day? Maybe in today's economy yes. Maybe in the aftermath of 'After Earth', yes, but could he not take a percentage of box office receipts until he gets to the $50 million mark?

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