The question before us is simple. How much will Hancock bank over the five day holiday weekend? Originally Steve Mason had it at $150m but he's lowered that estimate to $110m based on strong word-of-mouth for Wanted and WALL•E (sorry Kitt Kittridge, you're screwed). Steve is sporting a good theory there, Wanted will definitely take a chunk of Will Smith's money. I'm telling everyone I know to see it. That's like a dozen tickets right there.
Looking elsewhere around the net I found Edward Douglas's Weekend Warrior prediction of $125m over the five day period. My other stalwart predictor, BoxofficeGuru.com hasn't posted yet. So what's an Oracle to do? Research!
Quick, guess when Will Smith last opened on the 4th of July. Ready? Did you guess I, Robot? Nope. Bad Boys II? Nada. In fact, both of those films were in the spot The Dark Knight now occupies - the 16th and 18th of July respectively. No, the last Will Smith Independence Day opener was in fact Men in Black II back in 2002. That one opened around $95m (adjusted for inflation) over the holiday. Actually, it's been a full ten years since Smith was officially the 4th of July man when he ran off Bad Boys, Independence Day, and Men in Black in consecutive years. So then, does he still have that sort of magic?
Yes. That's the short answer. The longer answer is "sort of."
Transformers was pretty close to $150m last year but that was against Ratatouille and Live Free or Die Hard. In my mind Wanted is better than Bruce's effort and WALL•E is far stronger than Ratatouille. The final factor for the jury to consider is that the 4th was on a Wednesday in 2007. This year it all leads up to a Friday, which will actually hurt the box-office because people took Thursday and Friday off, but they won't take Wednesday and Thursday off this year. Snap!
So here we go. Prediction time. I'm allotting $225m total for the big three. Give $57m to WALL•E. It's earned it. Give $52m to Wanted. It deserves it. What's that leave? $116m for Hancock. That's above Steve's prediction but below Ed's. I'm right in the middle, aiming for the bulls eye. That's called chutzpah people, and I've got it by the bushel.
The good news is we'll be all over this story. Check back Thursday for my weekend predictions and possible excuses. Late Friday night Brad will weigh in with how things are going. Finally, on Sunday I'll wrap this thing up like a burrito. If I'm wrong on any count, don't worry, I'll admit it. That's just the sort of Box-Office Oracle I am.