A flying start for Sony's latest superhero flick

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"Hancock" rang up an estimated $6.8 million from the 3,680 theaters that scheduled "preview" showtimes of the Will Smith action film Tuesday night.

Sony expanded the tentpole release to 3,965 locations Wednesday. Although attracting mixed reviews from critics, the film has been tracking well and is expected to gross more than $100 million through Sunday.

Its Friday-Sunday performance will be measured against those by films like last year's "Transformers," the top grosser during the Fourth of July session. The DreamWorks/Paramount action film grossed $70.5 million during its first weekend after unspooling with Monday night previews in advance of an official Tuesday bow. (The Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday last year.)

"Transformers" grossed $155.4 million during its first 61/2 days. About $8.8 million of that came from its Monday previews. (partialdiff)
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