Hancock Dominates US Box Office
Will Smith, the closest thing to a sure bet in Hollywood, overcame some of the worst reviews of his career to claim the top spot at the Independence Day holiday boxoffice with “Hancock.”
The comedy-drama, in which Smith plays a drunken superhero, sold an estimated $66 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada during the three days beginning July 4, distributor Columbia Pictures said on Sunday.
Since opening on July 2 — with Tuesday-night previews rolled into Wednesday sales — the film has earned $107.3 million, becoming his 8th consecutive No. 1.
Smith, 39, has ruled the July 4 holiday weekend on five occasions, beginning with 1996’s “Independence Day,” his all-time personal best. Adjusted for ticket-price inflation, the “Hancock” opening ranks at No. 3 among those offerings, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo.
In “Hancock,” his slovenly character’s unorthodox crime-busting efforts cause more problems than they solve, and he enlists a public-relations man, played by Jason Bateman, to help restore his reputation among the displeased citizenry of Los Angeles. Critics were intrigued by the premise, but vexed by a dramatic sub-plot involving Bateman’s wife, played by Charlize Theron.
Smith was last in theaters with the apocalyptic drama “I Am Legend,” which ended up with $256 million domestically after opening last December.
“Hancock,” which cost about $150 million to make, was directed by Peter Berg, who was in theaters last year with the Middle East thriller “The Kingdom.” Columbia is a unit of Sony.
Last weekend’s champion, Walt Disney’s robot love story “WALL-E,” slipped to No. 2 with $33.4 million, taking its 10-day total to $128.1 million. [thr]