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Will Smith Scores No. 1 Netflix Movie in Wake of Chris Rock's Special

By ALLISON SCHONTER - April 3, 2023 10:33 am EDT


Will Smith likely has Chris Rock to credit for the newfound popularity of one of his older films. Following Rock's Selective Outrage live comedy special in March, the 2004 animated film Shark Tale is gaining traction on the streaming charts, breaking into the Top 5 and cementing itself as the No. 1 movie.


Produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures, Shark Tale follows Oscar, a Bluestreak cleaner wrasse who finds himself helping out a timid shark named Lenny. The film was directed by Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, and Rob Letterman and, along with Smith, features an ensemble cast that includes the voices of Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese, Ziggy Marley, Doug E. Doug, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Pastore, Peter Falk, Katie Couric, Shakira, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake. The movie is currently one of the most popular titles on Netflix, ranking as the No. 1 movie currently available on Netflix Kids. It also ranks as the No. 4 movie on Netflix U.S. behind Murder Mystery, The Bourne Legacy, and Murder Mystery 2, the Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler-starring film that currently ranks No. 1. The movie beats out fellow Top 5-ranker The Thing.

Shark Tale was added to Netflix's streaming lineup on Saturday, April 1, just a month after Netflix made history with its first live-streamed live streaming event, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage. During the comedy special, Rock didn't hesitate to throw a few metaphorical punches at Smith following the 2022 Oscars fiasco during which Smith punched the comedian after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.


The Dreamworks movie came up while Rock was comparing his physical stature to Smith's, Rock telling the audience, "People are like, 'Did it hurt?' It still hurts! I got 'Summertime' ringing in my ears," referencing one of Smith's songs. He continued, "But I'm not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah, Gayle (King), crying. Will Smith is significantly bigger than me He does movies with his shirt off! You've never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. If I'm in a movie getting open heart surgery, I got on a sweater. Will Smith played Muhammed Ali in a movie! You think I auditioned for that part? I played Pookie in New Jack City. ... Even in animation, he's bigger: I'm a zebra, he's a shark."

Unfortunately for Rock, he ultimately messed up the joke. While he correctly cited his role as Marty, the zebra in the Madagascar movie franchise, he flubbed Smith's role, as it appeared the comedian was referencing the actor's in Shark Tale. Smith, however, does not play a shark in the film, but rather a Bluestreak cleaner wrasse. Shark Tale is now streaming on Netflix.

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