By Monday, July 7, Will Smith will be the undisputed No. 1 movie star in the world. My sources tell me that tracking for Hancock (Sony) is in the stratosphere, and its five-day gross will be, conservatively, in the $140M-$150M range, with a bigger number highly possible. That would give the former Fresh Prince his eighth consecutive $100M+ grossing movie, topping the all-time best streaks of two fellow screen legends.
Although I do not know anyone who has seen the movie at this point, the concept, in my estimation, is perfectly tuned to our current culture. Hancock is the superhero who needs rehab, a down-on-his-luck loser with super powers. Jason Bateman plays the publicist working to rehabilitate his image. This new Will Smith role is, essentially, a superhero for the TMZ/Perez Hilton generation.
Hancock will, without question, be the 12th $100M+ grossing movie of Smith’s career (including the animated Shark Tale). That will move him back into a fourth place tie with Harrison Ford, whose Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (Paramount) is still playing strongly in theatres and approaching the $300M domestic mark.
MOST $100M+ HITS IN A CAREER
(Including animated films & excluding cameos)
Tom Hanks: 15
Tom Cruise: 14
Eddie Murphy: 13
2002: Men in Black II; $52.14M opening; $190.41M cume
2003: Bad Boys II; $46.52M opening; $138.6M cume
2004: I, Robot; $52.17M opening; $144.8M cume
2004: Shark Tale; $47.6M opening; $160.86M cume
2005: Hitch; $43.12M opening; $179.49M cume
2006: The Pursuit of Happyness; $26.54M opening; $163.56M cume
2007: I Am Legend; $77.21M opening; $256.39M cume
1998: Saving Private Ryan ; $30.57M opening; $216.54M cume
1998: You’ve Got Mail; $18.42M opening; $115.82M cume
1999: Toy Story 2; $300,000 opening 45.85M cume
1999: The Green Mile; $18M opening; $136.8M cume
2000: Cast Away; $28.88M opening; $233.63M cume
2002: Road To Perdition; $22.07M opening; $104.45M cume
2002: Catch Me If You Can; $30M opening; $164.61M cume
2000: Mission: Impossible II; $57.84M opening; $215.4M cume
2001: Vanilla Sky; $25M opening; $100.61M cume
2002: Minority Report; $35.67M opening; $132.07M cume
2003: The Last Samurai; $24.27M opening; $111.12M cume
2004: Collateral; $24.7M opening; $101M cume
2005: War of the Worlds; $64.87M opening; $234.28M cume
2006: Mission: Impossible III; $47.74M opening; $134M cume
Currently, Will Smith is the closest thing that Hollywood has to a sure thing, and notably, he is not making the same movie over and over again. The streak includes sequels, original sci-fi, animation, romantic comedy and Oscar nominated drama. His next film, Seven Pounds (Sony), is set for December and re-teams him with his Pursuit of Happyness director Gabriele Muccino. It is an eclectic drama, but it will not be surprising at all if he extends his $100M+ winning streak to nine. Everything he touches turns gold.