Will Smith’s Role as King Richard Restored an 18-Year-Old Oscar Streak That His $48.6 Million Box Office Bomb Broke

An unfortunate $48.6 million box office bomb ended Will Smith’s 18-year Oscar streak, but King Richard eventually restored it in 2021. The film King Richard, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, is based on the true story of Venus and Serena Williams’ father and coach. In the film, Will Smith plays the title character, while Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton play Venus and Serena Williams.

Following its release, King Richard was not only praised by viewers and critics, but also hailed as one of the best films of 2021. King Richard fared exceptionally well at the Academy Awards, earning six nominations, including Best Picture. Aside from receiving widespread acclaim and winning numerous awards, the biopic revived a Will Smith trend that had ended with a 2015 film.

Will Smith received Best Actor nominations for all of his biographical dramas except Concussion

Will Smith has appeared in films of various genres over the course of his two-decade acting career. Many people would recognize him from his roles in action-comedy franchises such as Bad Boys and Men in Black. However, he has delivered some of his best performances in biopics such as King Richard and Ali. As a result, it is unsurprising that he received Oscar nominations for nearly all of his biographical drama roles. Will Smith has approximately 90 acting credits and has appeared in four biopics.

His first biographical drama was Ali, in which he portrayed the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali over ten years of his life. Although the film bombed at the box office, it received universal acclaim from critics and earned Will Smith his first Academy Award nomination in the Best Actor category. Will Smith’s second biopic, A Pursuit of Happiness, chronicles the early years and struggles of businessman Chris Gardner. Along with critical acclaim, the film earned Will Smith another Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Biographical dramas initially paved the way for Will Smith to receive Oscar nominations, but his third biopic defied the trend. Will Smith’s 2015 film Concussion, in which he plays forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, received mixed reviews from audiences and critics and failed to earn him an Oscar nomination. Fortunately, in 2021, King Richard restored the actor’s biopic Oscar streak by nominating him and winning.

Why Did It Take Will Smith 18 Years To Finally Win Best Actor After Pursuit Of Happiness?

Will Smith’s biopic roles in Ali and Pursuit of Happiness were well received, but he did not limit himself to biographical dramas. Instead, he broadened his acting resume by appearing in several mainstream blockbusters such as Bad Boys, Men In Black, I Am Legend, and Suicide Squad, among others. The actor received no nominations after Pursuit of Happiness because the majority of these films did not meet the criteria for Oscar recognition. Given Will Smith’s incredible performance in King Richard and the fact that biopics typically align well with Oscar selection criteria, he won his first Oscar.

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