SATURDAY AM: Sony Pictures’ Hancock received the bounce it needed, up 9% from Thursday, to make $18.8 million on Fourth of July Friday from 3,965 theaters. That gives the Will Smith dramedy $60.1M from its first 3 1/2 days. The studio expects a 3-day weekend in the low $60sM to put Hancock “comfortably over 100” for the 5 days — around $105M. But the buzz is bad on the pic that cost $150M. Yet the studio feels Hancock’s franchise hopes are still alive because “there is a huge disconnect between audiences and critics when you have big numbers added to the world’s most bankable movie star.” 

Meanwhile, Picturehouse made a huge mistake by only platforming Kit Kittredge: An American Girl 10 days before Wall-E opened, and then waited for a wider release until July 2nd after the Disney/Pixar toon was a blockbuster. As an insider explained, “They had the right date all along: the momentum was there, the reviews were there, and Wall-E was not! But then Picturehouse put Kit Kittredge down in the middle of freeway. Suicide.” After making $857K Friday in 1,843 theaters , the Picturehouse pic that opened so promisingly was #8 for what should only be a FSS of $3.3M and cume of $6M.

Other films: #2 Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E made $9.1M Friday (-61% from its opening day) from 3,992 venues. It should make $38M for FSS and a cume of  $133M. #3 Universal’s Wanted $5.3M (-72% from its opening) Friday in 3,185 runs, $22M FSS, cume $92M. #4 Warner Bros’ Get Smart $3M Friday from 3,574 plays, $12M FSS, cume $98M. #5 DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda $2M Friday in 3,347 theaters, $8M FSS, cume $194M.

#6 Universal’s The Incredible Hulk $1.2M Friday from 3,043 venues, $5M FSS, cume $125M. #7 Paramount’s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull $1.1M Friday in 2,192 plays,  $4.7M FSS, cume $307M. #9 HBO Films/New Line/Warner Bros’ Sex And The City $630M Friday from 1,275 theaters, $2.4M FSS, cume $145M. #10 Sony’s You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, $475M Friday from 1,731 venues, $1.9M FSS, cume $94.7M. (This post will be updated all weekend.)

FRIDAY AM: Sony Pictures’ Hancock keeps adding to its domestic box office dough but at a slower pace that its fast start. It made $17.1 million from 3,965 theaters for Thursday, down only 2% from its Wednesday opening., bringing its 2 1/2 day total (including Tuesday’s evening shows) to $41.3M. The studio still has its sights set on the Will Smith dramedy earning more than $100M — but $115M seems out of reach. Although the film is doing big business overseas, there’s some doubt now whether this can still be Sony’s next franchise (or Will Smith’s … remember Warner Bros’ Wild Wild West?)

THURSDAY AM: Sony Pictures now has a hefty $24.2 million total domestic gross in 1 1/2 days for its dramedy Hancock starring Will Smith and directed by Peter Berg: $6.8M Tuesday (from two evening shows starting at 7 PM at 3,680 North American theaters) and $17.3M Wednesday (from its full run in 3,965 venues for its official opening). I hear Sony is hoping for rain on July 4th around the country because it’s traditionally not a big moviegoing day. Still, Hancock should have no trouble getting over $100M and maybe to $115M for the 5-day holiday. 

WEDNESDAY AM: Sources tell me that very early numbers show that Sony Pictures’ dramedy Hancock about a troubled superhero made a super-terrific $6.8 million Tuesday night from two evening shows starting at 7 PM at 3,680 North American theaters before its official opening today. (For comparison purposes, Iron Man took in $5 mil from its Thursday night shows before its official Friday May 2nd debut, and Transformers earned $8.8 mil last July 3rd before U.S. Independence Day. And those pics went on to become $300+M in domestic gross blockbusters.).

Today 3,965 theaters will be playing PG-13 Hancock, and I’m told Sony is projecting $100 million to $115 million for the 5 1/2-day July 4th weekend opening which Will Smith has traditionally owned based on the past performance of his movies which opened on that holiday like Independence Day, Men In Black, and Men In Black 2. All went on to earn $442+M in worldwide gross. Because of that impressive track record from the one actor whom Hollywood considers able to reliably open a movie these days, my box office gurus are predicting at least $105M for Hancock‘s 5 1/2-day weekend (all the way up to $115M) and at least $65+M for the Friday/Saturday/Sunday total because of the 92-minute running time which allows for more shows per day. But the film has received spotty reviews (only 33% positive on Rotten Tomatoes).

In a savvy effort to counter-program, Picturehouse’s family fare Kit Kittredge: An American Girl opens wide this weekend in 1,747 theaters after making $450.1K in limited release since June 20th. Not only does this well-reviewed G-rated pic star that kid favorite Abigail Breslin, but also Will Smith’s 7-year-old daughter Willow. (Prompting Smith to reveal he told her, “Daddy loves you sweetie, but I gots to stomp you at the box office.”) My box office gurus think Kit Kittredge can make $17M to $20M for the 5-day weekend, and $12M to $14M for the 3-day weekend. But Picturehouse thinks the start of the film franchise will make $10M for the extended holiday.

Holdovers Wall-E from Disney/Pixar made $7.7M from a full day and night of screenings on Tuesday, and Universal’s Wanted $4.7M. Predictions are for Wall-E to hang onto a strong $55M hold over the holiday, and Wanted maybe $40M.