Robin Williams, a legendary actor known for his immense talent and versatility, left an indelible mark on the film industry. For over a decade, Williams reigned as a beloved and commercially successful movie star, captivating audiences with his exceptional performances. In 1987, his role in Good Morning, Vietnam garnered critical acclaim and earned him his first Academy Award nomination, solidifying his place as a formidable talent.
Williams delivered a string of hits throughout his career, showcasing his acting prowess. Memorable films such as Dead Poets Society, Jumanji, The Birdcage, and Good Will Hunting further cemented his status as a bankable star and endeared him to audiences worldwide. However, what would surprise many is that his biggest paycheck came from a flop film.
Robin Williams Made $20 Million For A Flop Film
With the immense popularity of Mrs. Doubtfire, it was only natural for fans to anticipate another exceptional collaboration between Robin Williams and director Chris Columbus. In 1999, their second joint venture, Bicentennial Man hit the screens, raising expectations among viewers. The film centered around Williams’ portrayal of a robot on a remarkable journey to acquire human emotions and the desire to become human himself.
Given the ambitious premise and the project’s anticipation, Williams’ performance in Bicentennial Man earned him a staggering $20 million, reportedly the highest paycheck he received for a single film throughout his illustrious career, as per Celebrity Net Worth. The substantial sum was a testament to Williams’ star power and his ability to draw audiences to the theaters.
Unfortunately, despite high hopes, Bicentennial Man fell short of expectations on multiple fronts. Critics unanimously criticized the film, labeling it as “dull and mawkish,” as stated in the consensus of Rotten Tomatoes. In addition to the negative reception, the movie failed to generate substantial financial success. With a production budget of $100 million, its worldwide box office earnings amounted to just $87 million, as reported by Box Office Mojo. Ironically, although Robin Williams had previously led numerous successful films, Bicentennial Man did not prove to be one of them.
Robin Williams’ Career Went Downhill From There
The disappointment of Bicentennial Man may have foreshadowed a shift in Robin Williams’ career trajectory. While the preceding decade had seen several of his movies, such as Patch Adams, which also received negative reviews, surpass the $100 million mark at the box office, the 2000s brought about a change.
Although he continued to be involved in some mainstream successes during this period, they became increasingly sporadic and less frequent. Interestingly, after Bicentennial Man, Robin Williams’ major successes primarily came from supporting roles, such as in Night at the Museum, or through his voice work, like in Happy Feet.
As a leading star, his highest-grossing films in the subsequent years were R.V. in 2006 and Old Dogs in 2009. However, neither movie achieved the $100 million mark in global box office earnings. Thus, while Bicentennial Man held significance for Williams’ career, it had an unintended impact on the trajectory of his future projects.
Bicentennial Man is available for rent and purchase on Google Play and Amazon Instant Video.