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‘Hancock’ a box office hero

Sony film nabs over $6.7 million on Tuesday

Sony’s Will Smith tentpole “Hancock” got off to a strong start, grossing $6.8 million from 3,680 theaters in Tuesday-night previews.

Film expands today to 3,965 runs as it officially opens.

Going out early with a movie has become a popular tactic, providing some extra padding to the overall opening gross.

“Hancock’s” Tuesday-night haul is better than the $5.5 million earned by “Iron Man” in previews, but not as much as the $8.8 million collected in previews by “Transformers,” last year’s Fourth of July offering.

“Transformers” was an untested film property but had the advantage of being based on a popular toy line. Tentpole grossed $155.4 million over the holiday week and weekend.

B.O. observers expect “Hancock” to gross north of $100 million over the extended holiday frame.

Some are watching to see if generally poor reviews will hurt the film, although most believe they won’t have an impact because of Smith’s box office appeal.

“Hancock,” which started playing at 7 p.m., came in No. 2 on Tuesday, following Disney-Pixar’s “Wall-E,” which played throughout the day. The toon grossed $7.6 million for a cume of $70.9 million in its fifth day in release.

Universal’s actioner “Wanted” came in No. 3, grossing $4.6 million for a cume of $61.9 million in its fifth day.

Looking ahead to the extended holiday frame, Picturehouse’s “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” which goes nationwide today, should do well among girls and tweens.

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