Will Smith’s ‘Hancock’ Soars To Top Of Box Office, Marking His Fifth July 4 #1

Despite poor reviews, Smith's superhero debut brings in $66 million over the holiday weekend.

The Box-Office Top Five
#1 “Hancock” ($66 million)
#2 “WALL-E ($33.4 million)
#3 “Wanted” ($20.6 million)
#4 “Get Smart ($11.1 million)
#5 “Kung Fu Panda” ($7.5 million)

It’s American as apple pie: a Fourth of July weekend spent gulping down hot dogs, hamburgers and the latest Hollywood extravaganza starring the one star who is always money in the bank, Will Smith. Yes, once again, the nation celebrated its independence by contributing a whole lot of cash — $107.3 million since its July 2 opening, and $66 million over the weekend — to the opening haul of a Will Smith film. This time the mad money went to “Hancock,” the Peter Berg-directed superhero flick that finally put Smith in spandex.

After flirting with superhero flicks for years (Smith told MTV he’d briefly considered starring in “Superman Returns” ), it was the boozing misanthropic character of John Hancock that wooed Smith into the genre that always seemed to be a no-brainer for him. And in a summer that’s already seen impressive grosses by the likes of “The Incredible Hulk” and “Iron Man,” is it really any wonder that a superhero flick starring the world’s biggest star would make for a big success?

Still, “Hancock” had to surmount poor reviews from critics. Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune wrote that it “can offer only an A-list headliner in a D-list project.” Clearly, audiences disagreed, as the film increased its gross markedly from Friday ($18.8 million) to Saturday ($26.1 million), always a strong indicator of good word of mouth. (Read what Kurt Loder had to say about “Hancock” here. )

Thanks to the impressive gross, Smith kept up his currently unrivaled streak at the box office. “Hancock” is his eighth-consecutive #1 opener and also his eighth to earn at least $100 million. And if that’s not impressive enough, “Hancock” marks the fifth huge July 4 weekend opening for a Smith-starrer. Previously, “Men in Black,” “Men in Black II,” “Independence Day” and “Wild Wild West” led the charge. But this one was his highest opening gross ever for the weekend.

In a distant second, in its sophomore outing at the box office, was the latest beloved film from Pixar, “WALL-E.” With $33.4 million over the weekend, the animated flick has now grossed an impressive $128 million. Another holdover from the week before will soon be crossing the $100 million barrier, the inventive Angelina Jolie actioner, “Wanted,” which made $20.6 million in week two. Rounding out the top five were “Get Smart” at $11 million and “Kung Fu Panda” at $7.5 million.

Upcoming Releases
The summer action doesn’t let up with two of the season’s highest-profile sequels set for release in the next two weeks. Guillermo del Toro’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” opens this Friday, and the hugely anticipated “The Dark Knight” arrives on July 18.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Hancock,” “WALL-E” and “Wanted.”

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