Box Office Guru Preview: Smith to Rule Again With Hancock

Kit Kittredge, Wanted, WALL•E to fight for second place.

by | July 3, 2008 | Comments

Movie fans will get jiggy with their favorite Fourth of July superstar this weekend as Will Smith flies into multiplexes across the globe with his newest effects-filled action film Hancock from Sony. Meanwhile, Picturehouse expands its Abigail Breslin-starrer Kit Kittredge: An American Girl giving the frame’s two new openers ample room to breathe. Both films went into wide release on Wednesday ahead of the Friday holiday. Add in some strong sophomore contributions from the reigning box office power couple WALLjelina and it should make for some sparkling fireworks at the multiplexes this weekend. Independence Day often takes a bit of a toll on the box office because of outdoor activities like fireworks, parades, and barbecues, but the days surrounding the holiday see very active spending at theaters.

Saving the world one drunken step at a time, Will Smith takes on starring and producing roles in Hancock playing a superhero with an attitude problem in need of an image upgrade. Co-starring Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron, the PG-13 film from director Peter Berg stands as the former rapper’s latest venture to conquer the Fourth of July holiday frame, but the first in six years. Kudos to Smith and Sony for developing a new type of hero story.

But the awful reviews could make the undecided moviegoers hesitate a bit when making their holiday weekend movie selections. The core audience of action and Will Smith fans will disregard the complaints from critics and line up anyway. Negative reviews didn’t stop his last film I Am Legend from generating the actor’s all-time biggest debut. And a short running time of 92 minutes will ensure that each multiplex can serve up enough Hancock showtimes to absorb all the demand. In New York City for example, the Regal Union Square is offering 32 shows per day.

The former Fresh Prince’s new film will be his eighth consecutive number one opener and will remind the industry who sits at the top of the mountain in Hollywood. Hancock could appeal to many of the same moviegoers who powered Smith’s Men in Black films to record Fourth of July openings in the past. Those debuts amounted to $84.1M over five days plus Tuesday night previews for 1997’s original installment ($130M at today’s prices) and $87.2M over five days for the 2002 sequel ($106M today).


Hancock crashes into theaters this weekend.

Hancock has no true direct competitor this weekend, but other films will indeed eat away at parts of its target audience. WALL•E will grab younger kids and even some teens while Wanted will steal some of the adult action crowd. But the marketplace typically expands during holiday sessions and many movie buffs find the time to see more than one film. Early audiences have gotten basic satisfaction from the cussing superhero with over 3,000 users on Yahoo Movies giving it a decent B+ average. That’s not a big endorsement, but it doesn’t show that moviegoers are trashing the picture the way critics are either.

On Tuesday, the badass took in an impressive $6.8M from preview shows that began at 7pm. That’s a bigger haul than 2003’s Terminator 3 from its Tuesday night previews but less than the $8.8M of last July’s Transformers from its Monday night previews from this same holiday week. Both of those began their shows at 8pm and had longer running times. The Schwarzenegger sequel went on to gross $72.4M over its five-and-a-half-day span when the holiday also fell on a Friday. That would amount to $85M at today’s prices for the R-rated actioner. Terminator 3 was based on a better-known property, however Hancock has a more commercially-friendly rating and a more popular star.

Now playing in 3,965 theaters across North America, Hancock could open to around $66M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $108M from Tuesday night through Sunday.


Will Smith as Hancock.
After two weeks of exclusive engagements with $20 ticket prices (including a free t-shirt for moviegoers), Abigail Breslin‘s Kit Kittredge: An American Girl opens in nationwide release aiming to connect with young girls and moms. The G-rated Depression-era tale is based on the wildly popular series of books and toys so Picturehouse has a built-in audience to tap into. The opening weekend average of $44,059 from five locations was impressive, even when factoring in the extra high admission fee. Demand is high, however crossover business outside the core demographic should be limited. Hancock and Wanted won’t provide much competition, but little miss sunshine does have to worry about WALL•E which is playing extremely well with kids and is more gender-neutral so it can attract whole families with boys and girls together. Expanding to 1,753 theaters, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl could take in about $11M over the weekend and $17M across the five-day span.


Abigail Breslin as Kit Kittredge.

Disney has been aggressively advertising WALL•E this week as the number one movie in America in hopes of making families forget that Will Smith has a new offering in multiplexes right now. The robot adventure scored a strong opening and followed that up with solid midweek numbers with $8.9M on Monday and $7.6M on Tuesday. Some competition will come not only from Hancock but also from Kit Kittredge who will steal away more than just a few young girls. Last year, Ratatouille was also in its second frame during this holiday session and slipped by just 38%. A drop of 40% could hit WALL•E for a weekend take of about $38M which would boost the ten-day total to a robust $131M.

Angelina Jolie came out with guns blazing last weekend flexing her box office muscles to the tune of nearly $51M with Wanted. The Universal release kept the bullets flying on Monday and Tuesday with a combined $11M in two days. Though word-of-mouth is good, a sizable drop is still likely since the fan base already rushed out upfront in large numbers and a new competing action entry is now in the marketplace complete with Hollywood’s number one star. A 50% drop would give Wanted about $25M for the weekend and $95M after ten days.

Warner Bros. could witness a 45% decline for the action-comedy pic Get Smart. That would give the Steve Carell vehicle roughly $11M and a cume of $98M. Kung Fu Panda, another Jolie project in last week’s top five, should see a smaller fall. The Paramount/DreamWorks title may slide by 40% to about $7.5M lifting the cume to $193M.

LAST YEAR: Michael Bay returned to form with Transformers which clocked in at $70.5M over the weekend and a massive $155.4M haul over its six-and-a-half-day opening week. The Paramount release went on to gross $319.2M domestically becoming the top-grossing non-sequel of 2007, and brought in a stunning $707M worldwide. Disney and Pixar claimed second with Ratatouille which grossed $29M followed by the Fox action sequel Live Free or Die Hard with $17.7M. The romantic comedy License to Wed bowed in fourth with $10.4M and $17.8M since its mid-week debut. Warner Bros. found its way to a mediocre $43.8M. Universal’s Evan Almighty rounded out the top five with $8.7M in its third voyage.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

Indigenous Tags: Comedy FXX Arrowverse BBC America cooking docuseries MCU WGN archives criterion Watching Series new zealand game of thrones Amazon blockbuster suspense nbcuniversal Anna Paquin Britbox mission: impossible SXSW posters PaleyFest reviews dc Paramount Plus spider-man new york Countdown Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Paramount Pictures Vudu dexter Academy Awards CMT Pride Month Holiday Best Director social media TCA Winter 2020 worst movies free movies NBA dark Ellie Kemper green book game show mutant cinemax disaster APB Geeked Week batman Netflix Christmas movies slashers independent jurassic park ratings obituary comiccon Christmas Martial Arts The Purge NBC boxing theme song godzilla historical drama Schedule james bond Rocketman Trophy Talk New York Comic Con justice league children's TV rom-coms TLC italian Marvel mockumentary FX on Hulu YA latino dceu Fox Searchlight Valentine's Day pirates of the caribbean broadcast 2021 Cannes Biopics Sci-Fi WarnerMedia Alien 24 frames CW Seed Comics on TV spanish Box Office best Crackle Apple TV+ festivals scene in color series japan crime emmy awards Logo critic resources Polls and Games USA canceled Travel Channel facebook sequels Baby Yoda TCA know your critic TBS Prime Video live action OWN Native asian-american aliens cars Sneak Peek Country book monster movies 94th Oscars series Superheroes travel BBC Family Lucasfilm Avengers scary war target 93rd Oscars 79th Golden Globes Awards renewed TV shows Lionsgate toy story Shudder halloween tv Holidays MGM vs. animated Instagram Live Sundance Teen anime Rocky Best Actor Mary Tyler Moore Drama natural history Hollywood Foreign Press Association Apple TV Plus Turner doctor who concert 2019 sports video black Classic Film comic Columbia Pictures hispanic heritage month comic book movies Hear Us Out leaderboard Captain marvel a nightmare on elm street Disney Calendar Legendary Awards Tour award winner franchise festival supernatural Pop TV tv talk screen actors guild Pirates Spectrum Originals legend anthology Trivia mcc movie Spring TV 2016 AMC dreamworks scene in color film series Black Mirror Binge Guide Premiere Dates Acorn TV christmas movies Star Trek Toys Marvel Studios Action serial killer Television Academy political drama child's play worst Disney+ Disney Plus superhero VICE heist movie parents Set visit Bravo nfl marvel cinematic universe Warner Bros. debate breaking bad Wes Anderson zombie twilight 99% Film Trailer zombies Mudbound finale joker Dark Horse Comics HBO Go ABC IFC Films Disney Plus Film Festival Hallmark sequel prank summer TV preview Mindy Kaling Nat Geo The Witch SDCC Oscar Disney streaming service revenge telelvision HBO BBC One Fox News foreign The Walking Dead king arthur Amazon Studios Chernobyl composers Exclusive Video Turner Classic Movies YouTube Red action-comedy cancelled TV shows all-time IMDb TV Rom-Com versus The Academy TV One blockbusters OneApp TNT Rock rotten summer preview screenings genre venice Peacock deadpool Musicals Horror scary movies cartoon American Society of Cinematographers Sony Pictures olympics CBS Marvel Television GLAAD History golden globes Universal Pictures Fantasy Nominations hist television feel good comedies Funimation Nickelodeon vampires BAFTA classics police drama rt labs critics edition Infographic The Arrangement 2020 Adult Swim X-Men miniseries new star wars movies VOD Cartoon Network spanish language Pet Sematary MTV book adaptation DC Universe australia Comic-Con@Home 2021 films robots documentary hidden camera VH1 LGBTQ scene in color zero dark thirty hollywood Character Guide kaiju TruTV South by Southwest Film Festival YouTube aapi stand-up comedy Podcast chucky USA Network scorecard 71st Emmy Awards Reality comic books First Reviews basketball rt archives Year in Review black comedy TV renewals trailers Emmy Nominations Extras kids Chilling Adventures of Sabrina boxoffice Freeform CBS All Access El Rey dogs YouTube Premium GIFs Comedy Central adenture streamig TV movies IFC cancelled TV series Television Critics Association space TCM romance The CW 21st Century Fox 90s discovery Ovation Stephen King live event Kids & Family wonder woman sitcom Superheroe elevated horror Tubi Women's History Month Pacific Islander international diversity Disney Channel Comic Book news royal family binge 20th Century Fox indie thriller ABC Signature Heroines TV Land 4/20 ABC Family superman Paramount Network RT21 Fargo unscripted Ghostbusters E! king kong spy thriller Winners BET Awards die hard football Red Carpet MSNBC razzies Awards fresh Pop slasher E3 2015 PBS mob Emmys Epix Hallmark Christmas movies TV PlayStation TIFF jamie lee curtis Music adventure 73rd Emmy Awards period drama Lifetime spider-verse Interview romantic comedy streaming movies based on movie what to watch Sundance TV SXSW 2022 TCA 2017 remakes transformers stop motion Neflix witnail technology Western Tarantino politics San Diego Comic-Con biopic french lord of the rings Paramount Tomatazos ESPN Writers Guild of America FOX Opinion ITV Mary Poppins Returns Lifetime Christmas movies 1990s Sundance Now Super Bowl DC streaming service crossover quibi true crime AMC Plus rotten movies we love Musical harry potter docudrama 2017 ghosts 2018 DirecTV south america Election ViacomCBS A24 adaptation Best and Worst universal monsters science fiction Tokyo Olympics Universal reboot blaxploitation strong female leads laika critics Best Actress medical drama gangster Sony Food Network Mystery video on demand Image Comics cats Mary poppins Discovery Channel Pixar Endgame golden globe awards streaming Tumblr satire cops cancelled television indiana jones name the review Showtime teaser saw comic book movie psycho Video Games fast and furious Walt Disney Pictures Reality Competition National Geographic werewolf kong Thanksgiving Elton John Winter TV TCA Awards A&E Syfy cancelled art house stoner movies biography sopranos Netflix Star Wars Celebration trophy psychological thriller Creative Arts Emmys Marathons talk show documentaries NYCC hispanic Focus Features Cosplay casting Quiz singing competition DGA The Walt Disney Company obi wan Amazon Prime Video interviews crime thriller 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Grammys Amazon Prime canceled TV shows Certified Fresh First Look 007 dramedy spinoff ID marvel comics directors Apple women sag awards japanese target scene in color Oscars toronto Broadway BET FX Spike GoT nature cults See It Skip It Animation spain SundanceTV Star Wars Black History Month 45 DC Comics 72 Emmy Awards Crunchyroll popular President Esquire LGBT Brie Larson Masterpiece CNN crime drama Best Picture rt labs young adult Summer summer TV halloween Song of Ice and Fire high school dragons Fall TV RT History Starz Comedy HBO Max comics richard e. Grant Shondaland Hulu Photos HFPA