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After Earth Box Office: Will Smith and Jaden Smith Won't Equal Fast & Furious 6

After Earth Spoilers

Will Smith's last movie opened No. 1. Jaden Smith's last movie opened No. 1 movie, too. But Fast & Furious 6 has little reason to fear slipping to No. 2.

The action sequel, which led a record-setting Memorial Day box office, was expected to come out on top this weekend, and handily best the Smiths' just-released After Earth.

If Fast & Furious 6 performs like its series' previous installments, it'll see its second-weekend ticket sales drop by about 60 percent. That would put the latest Vin Diesel vehicle at a still-big $58 million.

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After Earth, meanwhile, formally opening today, was believed to be on track for a Friday-Sunday gross of about $35 million.

The caper film Now You See Me, the weekend's other major new release, could open behind the holdovers Star Trek Into Darkness and Epic, per a projected Exhibitor Relations rundown  of the weekend, with $19 million, on par with the debut posted by the more modestly budgeted 2010 heist film Takers.  

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For After Earth, a debut in the range of $35 million-$40 million would put the sci-fi film in the post-apocalyptic neighborhood of Tom Cruise's modest spring performer, Oblivion, and mark a respectable start for a film that's been savaged by critics and prompted the nightmare Daily Beast headline, "Will Smith's After Earth Is Terrible. Has He Lost His Mojo?"

VIDEO: Will Smith gushes over Jaden at After Earth premiere

At the box office, After Earth will almost assuredly be a comedown for both father and son Smith, whose previous movies, Men in Black 3 and the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid, respectively, both scored about $55 million in their opening weekends.

For director M. Night Shyamalan, any debut that's bigger than his Lady in the Water low point ($18 million in 2006) would keep him from getting all wet. 

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