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Will Smith’s Superpowers Still Work

Will Smith did Hancock a solid.

Smith has star-powered the poorly reviewed superhero hybrid to a $66 million opening weekend, and a No. 1 finish, according to Exhibitor Relations estimates today.

WALL-E, last weekend’s champ, stayed strong, grossing another $33.4 million, but finished a distant second.

Hancock goes down as Smith’s seventh straight movie to open No. 1. If you count Shark Tale, the 2004 animated comedy, as a Smith movie, his streak stands at eight straight.

Overall, Hancock has grossed $107.3 million since “previewing” on Tuesday night and “opening” on Wednesday.

Looking strictly at the movie’s first five days, Wednesday-Sunday, Hancock took in $100.4 million, per Box Office Mojo stats, far behind the pace of this summer’s two leading movies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($152 million) and Iron Man ($112.1 million).

Among Smith movies, Hancock becomes his top Fourth of July opener, a testament to the star’s drawing power, yes, but also inflation.

Run the movie math (divide the opening weekend gross by the average ticket price), and the numbers show Independence Day, Smith’s signature Fourth of July hit, sold nearly two million more tickets in its opening weekend in 1996 than Hancock did this weekend.

It’s actually better not to run the movie math. Not if you want to enjoy the holiday weekend to the fullest.

Other box office notes:

* Where WALL-E remained hot and pushed its two-weekend total to $128.1 million, Angelina Jolie’s Wanted (third place, $20.6 million; $90.8 million overall) cooled off considerably, with business down 60 percent.
* In its third weekend, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, the critically praised Abigail Breslin family film, opened wide and died—a doll-sized $3.6 million (eighth place) off nearly 1,850 screens.
* Speaking of the dearly departed, Mike Myers’ The Love Guru ($1.7 million) dropped out of the Top 10 after just two weekends.
* Looking on the bright side of a big giant bomb, The Love Guru, at $29.3 million overall, is the highest-grossing Justin Timberlake movie of all time. As long as you don’t count Shrek the Third as a Justin Timberlake movie. Which you really shouldn’t.
* The 1990s-nostalgia trip The Wackness, starring Drake & Josh’s Josh Peck, was the star in limited release, grossing $145,064 at six theaters. Its per-screen average of $24,177 was the tops for any movie of the weekend.
* Despite three movies taking in more than $20 million, the Hancock-led Fourth of July was 4 percent smaller than last year’s Transformers-led Fourth of July. The setback set 2008’s overall business once again behind 2007’s.

Here’s a recap of the top-grossing weekend films based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

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
6. The Incredible Hulk, $5 million
7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, $3.9 million
8. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, $3.6 million
9. Sex and the City, $2.3 million
10. You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, $2 million

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