• After three years, Will Smith’s Oscar-winning film
    King Richard
    is now in Netflix’s US Top 10 chart.
  • The film’s success on streaming platforms contrasts with its box-office disappointment at release.
  • Despite the controversy surrounding Smith’s Oscar win,
    King Richard
    still offers an inspiring viewing experience.

Will Smith’s Oscar-winning movie, King Richard, ascends to Netflix’s Top 10 chart in the United States three years after its release. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Zach Baylin, King Richard tells the true story of Richard Williams, the father and coach of Venus and Serena Williams, who elevated his daughters into tennis superstars through intense planning and unconventional training methods. Other than Will Smith, who won an Academy Award for his performance, the King Richard cast also includes Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, and Jon Bernthal.

Now, three years after its release, Will Smith’s Oscar-winning film has ascended to Netflix‘s Top 10 chart in the United States. For the week of April 22-28, King Richard was the fourth most-watched film on Netflix in the United States. It ranked between Smurfs: The Lost Village in third and the crime thriller Rust Creek in fifth. All three of these films, along with first place, Anyone But You, are enjoying their first week in the Top 10.


King Richard Ending Explained: What Happened To Everybody After The Movie

King Richard’s true story of Serena and Venus Williams’ childhood ends early in their careers, showing that it is truly Richard’s story

King Richard Has A Complicated Legacy

King Richard is remembered as the film that finally won Will Smith his first Oscar for Best Actor after being previously nominated for Ali in 2002 and The Pursuit of Happyness in 2007. However, it wasn’t until King Richard in 2022 that the Academy decided it was long overdue and awarded Will Smith his first Oscar for his towering performance in the titular role. However, Smith’s milestone moment was spoiled during the Academy Awards when, shortly before winning, he stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock in retaliation to a joke the comedian made about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

The incident generated significant media attention and backlash, forcing Will Smith to apologize multiple times and eventually resign from the Academy. In addition, the Academy issued a 10-year ban preventing Smith from attending the awards and other events. Though King Richard will be remembered for Smith’s Oscar-winning performance, his actions during the night he won the award will always complicate and shroud its legacy. The film was also nominated for five other Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Best Original Screenplay for Zach Baylin, Best Original Song for Beyoncé, and Best Editing.

In addition, despite featuring a fantastic performance from Smith, King Richard was a box-office bomb, which only further complicates its legacy. It grossed only $39 million against its $50 million budget. However, this was largely because it was released simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though there are many factors complicating King Richard‘s legacy, the movie makes for an entertaining and inspirational experience when watched on Netflix in a vacuum.

King Richard
is also streaming on HBO Max.

Source: Netflix

King Richard

Based on the true story that will inspire the world, Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard follows the journey of Richard Williams, an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever. Driven by a clear vision of their future and using unconventional methods, Richard plans to take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, California, to the global stage as legendary icons. 

Reinaldo Marcus Green

Release Date
November 19, 2021

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

Zach Baylin

138 minutes

$50 million

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