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Weekend Box Office: Will power

Posted by Ty Burr  July 7, 2008 12:17 PM

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hancockwhale.jpg

I know Will Smith is Mr. Fourth of July and all, but, yoiks, $107 million for "Hancock" since last Tuesday? And $66 million over the long weekend alone? At almost 4,000 theaters, that's a mighty fine $16,600 per theater average -- not bad for a movie that commits hari-kiri at the midway point and falls over stone dead. (I mean, you've seen the movie -- did you really buy that? Really?)

This was the kind of opener the industry's been hoping for, even in a stronger than expected summer, and it managed the feat of throwing "WALL-E" into the box office shadows of second place with $33 million. (Leonard Klady at Movie City News believes the latest from Pixar will ultimately get outgrossed by the simpler and more broad-appeal "Kung Fu Panda." You may start weeping now.)

"Wanted," interestingly, added a few more theaters but still dropped off by 60%, meaning those who wanted to see it saw it opening weekend. Jolie may have legs but I'm betting the movie doesn't. Also roadkill was "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," which expanded from 15 theaters to almost 2,000 and eked out $3.6 million. Guess the warm advance reviews weren't able to get audiences out of the Will Smith habit.

Down in indieland, "The Wackness" opened at six theaters with a very strong $25K per theater average, which bodes well for its Boston opening this Friday. Those of you who've been waiting to see A) Josh from Nickelodeon's "Drake and Josh" play a pot-dealing high schooler in 1994 Manhattan and B) Mary-Kate Olsen and Ben Kingsley having wild monkey sex in a phone booth will be well served. "Gonzo," the Hunter S. Thompson docu, actually outgrossed "Wackness" $190K to $180K, but played in over four times as many theaters, so you do the math.

The Box Office Mojo chart has more numbers.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

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