Make a note: Summer 2013 was the time the biggest actors of the ’90s took a cue from the younger kiddos and started really promoting their summer films in a new way.
Call it part of the Timberlake effect. Justin Timberlake pulled out all the stops promoting his album The 20/20 Experience in March, memorably hosting Saturday Night Live, co-hosting a week of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, heck, he even had a Target-sponsored release party that aired on The CW. Some people rolled their eyes, but the 24/7 attack paid off: The album opened at No. 1, moving 968,000 copies its first week.
Will Smith certainly seemed to be following Timberlake’s lead with his 100 percent all-in approach to getting people into theaters to see After Earth. This alone isn’t new: Smith has always been a good sport about promoting his movies, but this time around, he seemed to be really trying: He hit the talk show circuit hard by reuniting and performing the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song (with Alfonso Ribeiro!) and kissing his son during a televised chat that seemed designed as viral Internet bait. He might as well have gotten in the ring and shouted, “Are you not entertained?”
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