Hancock puts Will Smith back on top of the box office creating some reel fireworks
Pamela McClintock of Variety
The world’s biggest star just got bigger.
Sony’s Will Smith starrer “Hancock” debuted to an estimated $103.9 million from 3,965 runs over 5½ days to become the third-biggest Fourth of July opener of all time after “Transformers” and “Spider-Man 2.” Of “Hancock’s” total tally, an estimated $62.6 million was grossed over the weekend.
Overseas, “Hancock” grossed an estimated $78.5 million as it began rolling out in major markets.
Pic is the eighth Smith film in a row to open at No. 1 domestically, as well as his fifth -- and most successful -- Fourth of July outing. Film’s performance is widely viewed as a testament to Smith’s box office allure, considering that “Hancock” drew generally dismal reviews. Nor did “Hancock” have the same degree of broad appeal that other Fourth of July tentpoles have enjoyed.
Last year, “Transformers” opened to $155.4 million over 6½ days, including a weekend haul of $70.5 million. “Spider-Man 2” made $152.3 million over 5½ days in 2004, with $88.1 million coming over the weekend itself. "Hancock" scored the fourth best opening for the holiday weekend, behind "Spider-Man," "Transformers" and "War of the Worlds."
The record-breaking opening of “Transformers” made year-over-year comparisons tough. Weekend was down 5%-6% over last year, ending a record-breaking sesh at the domestic box office, which saw business surge in June.
It didn’t help that the holiday’s other new wide offering, Picturehouse’s “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” failed to make much of a dent.
“American Girl,” based on the popular doll, magazine and book line and starring Abigail Breslin, placed No. 8 for the weekend, grossing an estimated $3.6 million from 1,843 runs; cume is $6.1 million in its third weekend. Pic began as a limited release in the hopes of building word of mouth.
After “Hancock,” the other big headline of the holiday was Disney-Pixar’s “Wall-E,” which placed No. 2 for the weekend and jumped the $100 million mark in only its second sesh. “Wall-E,” enjoying strong weekday business, declined 47% to an estimated $33.4 million over the weekend for a hearty cume of $128.1 million in the toon’s first 10 days.
That’s the third-best standing for a Pixar pic after “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo.”