Hancock a hero at the box office

Hancock dominates 4th of July box offices.

Despite the fact that Will Smith hasn’t had a movie open on the Independence Day weekend for four years, the long July 4 weekend has given the actor an incredible run of success on that date (Independence Day, Men In Black, Men In Black II and I, Robot all opened big). So much so, in fact, that the weekend has been dubbed ‘Big Willie Weekend’.

And it seems 2008 is no different, with Smith’s dark superhero comedy, Hancock, flying straight to the top of the US box office with a staggering $107 million haul since it opened on Tuesday (and $66 million over the three-day weekend) .Despite a mixed critical reception, the opening was the biggest of Smith’s career.

Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E had a very encouraging second weekend, regardless, dropping just 47% to take second place with a $33 million three-day gross. The film now has $128 million after two weeks, and looks on course to be one of Pixar’s highest grossing movies to date. Next weekend’s gross should be a good indicator of where it’s likely to finish up, but it will pass $200 million for sure. Irish fans will have to wait two more weeks to see this modern day Johnny 5.

In third place, with a drop of 59.5% (about the norm for genre blockbusters) was Timur Bekmabetov’s controversial and ultra-violent thriller, Wanted, which grossed an estimated $20 million. It now has $90 million in the bank.

No major landmarks were achieved over the weekend, but the race to be the summer’s number one movie is certainly heating up, with Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull edging ever closer to Iron Man. The former now has $306.5 million and is hanging around inside the Top 10, while Iron Man – with $311.7 million – has now dropped out of the Top 10. Indy could well overhaul Iron Man within a fortnight – but, of course, there’s a chance that The Dark Knight could beat them both. For that to happen, though, Chris Nolan’s sequel would have to deliver the biggest numbers of any Batman movie to date.

DISCUSS: Will the Dark Knight take the top spot, Indy, Iron Man – what do you think?