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Will Smith Tops Box Office with 'Hancock'

Will Smith's box-office superpowers remain intact.

Smith's "Hancock" -- the story of a boozing, foul-mouthed superhero who dresses like a street bum -- led the Fourth of July weekend with a $66 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That raised the total for Sony's "Hancock" to $107.3 million since it opened Tuesday night to get a jump on the holiday.

It was a familiar place for Smith, one of Hollywood's most-consistent draws. "Hancock" is his fifth movie to open at No. 1 over the Fourth of July. The others were "Men in Black" and its sequel, "Independence Day" and "Wild Wild West."

"Will Smith, Mom, apple pie and the Fourth of July. It doesn't get any better," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. "People just so relate to him and the characters that he plays. They totally embraced it as something different, something fresh."

The previous weekend's top flick, the Disney-Pixar animated tale "WALL-E," slipped to second place with $33.4 million. Its 10-day total is $128.1 million.

Overall business slipped for the first time in a month. The top 12 movies pulled in $158.7 million, down 4 percent from the Fourth of July weekend last year, when "Transformers" opened at No. 1 with $70.5 million, according to box-office tracker Media By Numbers.

Revenues this summer are at $2.22 billion, about 2 percent ahead of Hollywood's record pace in 2007, when summer revenues topped $4 billion for the first time.

"Hancock" co-stars Jason Bateman as a public-relations man who tries to give an image-makeover to Smith's cranky character. Charlize Theron plays Bateman's wife, who has her own reasons for wanting the superhero to stay out of her life.

It was the second-best opening weekend for Smith, following last December's "I Am Legend" at $77.2 million, and was his eighth-straight movie to open at No. 1.

"`Hancock' did not get great reviews, but it doesn't matter. A guy like Will Smith is arguably the most-bankable star in the world," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers. "He's utterly likable and he's real, and that permeates from the screen to the audience."

Overseas, "Hancock" pulled in an additional $78 million in 50 other countries.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers. Final figures will be released Monday.

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