Hancock (film)

Hancock (film)

Infobox Film
name = Hancock

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Peter Berg
producer = Akiva Goldsman
James Lassiter
Michael Mann
Will Smith
writer = Vince Gilligan
Vincent Ngo
narrator =
starring = Will Smith
Charlize Theron
Jason Bateman
music = John Powell
cinematography = Tobias A. Schliessler
editing = Paul Rubell
Colby Parker Jr.
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released = July 2, 2008
runtime = 93 min.
country = United States
language = English
budget = US$150 000 000
gross = $600+ million (worldwide)
website = http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/hancock/
amg_id = 1:376678
imdb_id = 0448157

"Hancock" is a 2008 superhero film directed by Peter Berg and starring Will Smith, Jason Bateman, and Charlize Theron. It tells the story of a vigilante superhero, John Hancock (Smith), from Los Angeles whose reckless actions routinely cost the city millions of dollars. Eventually one person he saves, Ray Embrey (Bateman), makes it his mission to change Hancock's public image for the better.

The story was originally written by Vincent Ngo in 1996. It languished in development hell for years and had various directors attached, including Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, and Gabriele Muccino before going into production in 2007. "Hancock" was filmed in Los Angeles with a production budget of $150 million.

In the United States, the film was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America after changes were made at the organization's request in order to avoid a "restricted" (R) rating, which it had received twice before. The film was widely released on July 2, 2008 in the United States and the United Kingdom. "Hancock" has received mainly average reviews from film critics. To date, "Hancock" has grossed $225,214,837 in the United States and Canada and over $330 million in other territories.


John Hancock (Will Smith) is an alcoholic with superhuman powers, including supersonic flight, invulnerability, immortality, and super-strength. Though he uses his powers to stop criminals in his current residence of Los Angeles, his activities inadvertently cause millions of dollars in property damage due to his constant intoxication. As a result, he is routinely jeered at the crime scenes. Hancock also ignores court subpoenas from the city of Los Angeles to address the property damage he has caused.

When public relations spokesperson Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) departs from an unsuccessful meeting pitching his All-Heart logo for corporations who are extraordinarily charitable—or wish to be perceived as such—he becomes trapped on railroad tracks with an incoming freight train. Hancock saves Ray's life, but he causes the train to derail and nearly injures another driver. Hancock is jeered by other drivers for causing more damage, but Ray steps in and thanks Hancock for saving his life. Ray offers to improve Hancock's public image, and Hancock grudgingly accepts. The spokesperson convinces the alcoholic superhero to permit himself to be jailed for outstanding subpoenas so they can show Los Angeles how much the city really needs Hancock. When the crime rate rises after Hancock's incarceration, the superhero is contacted by the Chief of Police. With a new costume from Ray, Hancock intervenes with a bank robbery, rescuing a cop and stopping the leader of the robbers, Red Parker (Eddie Marsan).

After the rescue, Hancock is applauded for handling the bank robbery. The superhero becomes popular once more, as Ray had predicted. He goes out to dinner with Ray and his wife Mary (Charlize Theron), with whom he reveals his apparent immortality and his amnesia from 80 years ago. After Hancock tucks a drunken Ray in bed, he discovers that Mary also has superhuman powers. He threatens to expose her unless she explains their origins, and she tells him that they have lived for 3,000 years with their powers, having been called gods and angels in their time. She explains that they are the last of their kind and that their kind are paired. Mary does not tell Hancock the entire truth, and Hancock departs to tell Ray about the conversation. The exchange results in a battle between Hancock and Mary that takes them to downtown Los Angeles, causing significant damage to the area. Ray, downtown in a business meeting, sees and recognizes Mary using abilities like Hancock's.

Hancock meets Ray and Mary back at their house. Mary explains that Hancock is technically her husband, explaining that they were built in twos, and that they are drawn to each other over time and great distances. Hancock is later shot twice in the torso when he intervenes in a liquor store robbery. After being hospitalized, Mary enters and explains that as the pair of immortals gets close, they begin to lose their powers. She also explains that Hancock was attacked in an alley 80 years prior, his skull was fractured, causing amnesia. Mary deserted him then in order for him to recover from his injuries. After her explanation, the hospital is raided by the bank robber Red Parker and two other criminals that Hancock had encountered during his incarceration. Mary is shot in the process. Hancock is able to stop two men but is further wounded by them. When Red attempts to finish Hancock off, Ray comes to the rescue and stops the bank robber with a fire axe. With Mary nearly dying, Hancock uses the last of his strength to flee from the hospital so that their parting would allow her to heal with her powers. He later winds up in New York City, working as a superhero. As gratitude to Ray, Hancock paints Ray's All-Heart logo on the moon and calls the spokesperson to look up to the worldwide advertisement.



Screenwriter Vincent Ngo wrote the spec script "Tonight, He Comes" in 1996. The draft, about a troubled 12-year-old and a fallen superhero, was initially picked up by director Tony Scott as a potential project.cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117869866.html?categoryid=3&cs=1 | title=Artisan 'Comes' to deal with Goldsman | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2002-07-17 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ] Producer Akiva Goldsman came across the script, which he had considered a favorite,cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117933792.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Col has plans for 'Tonight' | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2005-11-30 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ] and encouraged Richard Saperstein, then president of development and production at Artisan Entertainment, to acquire it in 2002. Director Michael Mann was initially attached to direct "Tonight, He Comes", but he instead opted to direct "Miami Vice" (2006). Eventually, Artisan placed the project in turnaround, and it was acquired by Goldsman.cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117918115.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Col, Smith get hitched to hero pic | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2005-02-16 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ]

Screenwriters Vince Gilligan and John August rewrote Ngo's script, and Jonathan Mostow was attached to direct the film. Under Mostow's supervision, a 10-page treatment was written to be pitched to actor Will Smith to portray the lead role in the film. Neither Mostow nor Smith was yet committed to make the project an active priority at the time. Several studios pursued the opportunity to finance the film, and Columbia Pictures succeeded in acquiring the prospect in February 2005. A second draft was scripted by Gilligan following the finalization of the deal with Columbia. The film was initially slated for a holiday 2006 release.

In November 2005, Mostow and Smith committed to "Tonight, He Comes", with production slated to begin in Los Angeles in summer 2006. Smith had set up a pay or play contract to film "I Am Legend" (2007) under Warner Bros. after completion of "Tonight, He Comes". [cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117942073.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2564 | title='Legend' reborn again at Warners | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2006-04-25 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ] Mostow eventually departed from the project due to creative differences.cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117943453.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1 | title='Tonight' helmer ankles | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2006-05-17 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ] Italian director Gabriele Muccino filled Mostow's vacancy in May 2006. Since Muccino was busy editing "The Pursuit of Happyness" starring Smith, which Muccino had directed, Smith switched projects to film "I Am Legend" first for its December 2007 release, and then film "Tonight, He Comes" afterward. [cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117942537.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Inside Move: 'Legend' of Smith an early tale for WB | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2006-05-03 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ] Later in the month, Muccino left the project because of an incompatibility with filming the story. Since Muccino was preparing "The Pursuit of Happyness", the studio had delayed the production start for "Tonight, He Comes" to summer 2007, enabling Warner Bros. to begin production of "I Am Legend" with Smith.


In October 2006, Peter Berg was attached to direct "Tonight, He Comes" with production slated to begin in May 2007 in Los Angeles, the story's setting. [cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | coauthors=Nicole Laporte | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117951967.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title='Tonight' he shoots | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2006-10-15 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ] Berg had been midway through filming "The Kingdom" when he heard about the film and called Michael Mann, who had become one of its producers.cite news | first=Steven | last=Rea | url=http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/steven_rea/20080629_On_Movies_.html | title=On Movies: Unheroic superhero appealed to director | work=The Philadelphia Inquirer | publisher=Philadelphia Media Holdings | date=2008-06-29 | accessdate=2008-07-03 ] The new director compared the original script's tone to "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995), calling it "a scathing character study of this suicidal alcoholic superhero". The director explained the rewrite, "We thought the idea was cool, but we did want to lighten it up. We all did."cite news | first=John | last=Anderson | url=http://www.newsday.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sunday/fanfare/ny-ffmov5741377jun29,0,2822590.story | title=Will Smith plays a boozy superhero in 'Hancock' | work=Newsday | publisher=Tribune Company | date=2008-06-29 | accessdate=2008-07-03 ] Before filming began, "Tonight, He Comes" was retitled "John Hancock",cite news | author=Stax | url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/798/798034p1.html | title=Tonight, He Gets Retitled | work=IGN | publisher=News Corporation | date=2007-06-20 | accessdate=2007-07-08 ] and it was eventually shortened to "Hancock". [cite news | author= | url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19940280/ | title=Will Smith hits new heights for ‘Hancock’ | work=MSNBC | publisher=NBC Universal, Microsoft | date=2007-07-24 | accessdate=2007-08-13 ]

Filming began on "Hancock" on July 3, 2007 in Los Angeles, [cite web | author= | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/tools_data/production_listings/search_results.jsp?d=y&f=y&s=production | title=Domestic film: In production | work=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | accessdate=2007-09-26 ] having a production budget of $150 million. Locations like Hollywood Boulevard were designed to look damaged, having rubble, overturned vehicles, and fires.cite news | first=Scott | last=Bowles | url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2008-04-09-hancock-peek_N.htm | title=Sneak peek: 'Hancock' — Another superhero with issues? | work=USA Today | publisher=Gannett Company | date=2008-04-09 | accessdate=2008-05-24 ] Smith's character is also an alcoholic, so for scenes in liquor stores, the art department designed fake labels such as Pap Smear Vodka for the bottles because "brown-bag brands" like Thunderbird and Night Train refused to lend their names. [cite news | first=John | last=Horn | url=http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-hancock4-2008may04,0,2968851.story | title=Will Smith's familiar signature is on 'Hancock' | work=Los Angeles Times | publisher=Tribune Company | date=2008-05-04 | accessdate=2008-05-24 ] Reshoots were filmed in Times Square in May 2008, the late date resulting in the cancellation of the film's original world premiere in Australia on June 10, 2008.

Visual effects

"Hancock" was Peter Berg's first film with visual effects as critical cinematic elements. He considered the computer-generated fight his least favorite part of the film, citing limited control in making the scene successful. According to the director, "Once the fight starts, you're very limited and you're at the mercy of your effects guys... unless they're really technically oriented, that it's definitely the time we have the least amount of control as directors." He and other filmmakers worked to cut down on the fight scene, believing that the film's success would come from the character study of Smith's character, John Hancock, similar to Robert Downey Jr.'s acclaimed portrayal of Tony Stark in the previous May's release, "Iron Man".

Visual effects supervisor Carey Villegas described Peter Berg's photography as "very high energy", finding it a challenge for the visual effects crew to adapt to. Though the crew had estimated developing 300 visual effects shot at its initial bid, the final tally was approximately 525 shots. An unexpected shot was a scene in which Hancock shoves a prisoner's head up another's behind, and filmmakers initially attempted to film it conventionally, using sleight of hand techniques with cameras. Finding that doing so did not capture "the vulgarity of the gag", the crew was enlisted to use computer-generated effects. Visual effects were also applied in conjunction with the film's choreography, incorporating palm trees, twisters, and debris in the computer-generated fight scene and combining visual effects with a crane shot to portray Hancock's derailment of a freight train. [cite news | first=Tara | last=Bennett | url=http://www.vfxworld.com/index.php?atype=articles&id=3690 | title="Hancock": Off-the-Cuff VFX | work=VFXWorld.com | publisher=AWN, Inc | date=2008-07-07 | accessdate=2008-07-18 ]


*Will Smith as John Hancock, an alcoholic, down-and-out, incredibly sarcastic superhero. Smith described the character, "Hancock is not your average superhero. Every day he wakes up mad at the world. He doesn't remember what happened to him and there's no one to help him find the answers." Hancock is invulnerable, immortal, possesses superhuman strength, and can fly at supersonic speeds. To give a realistic appearance of superhero flight, Smith was often suspended by wires 60 feet above the ground and propelled at 40-50 miles per hour. [cite news | first=Doug | last=Ganley | url=http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/07/01/people.smith/?iref=hpmostpop | title= Will Smith: 'I was scared' of flying | work=CNN | publisher=Turner Broadcasting Company | date=2008-07-01 | accessdate=2008-07-03 ]
*Jason Bateman as Ray Embrey, a corporate public relations consultant whose life Hancock saves. Bateman said, "My character sees life through rose-colored glasses so he doesn't understand how people can't see the positive side of Hancock. I like being the everyman. I like being the tour guide, the one who tethers whatever absurdity might be in a film and helps make that tangible to the audience." [cite news | first=Mike | last=Goodridge | title=Cometh the hour... | work=The Times | publisher=News International | date=2008-06-21 ]
*Charlize Theron as Mary Embrey, Ray's wife. Theron described Mary, "She makes this conscious decision to live in suburbia and be this soccer mum to her stepson and be the perfect wife—she lives in this bubble. But when people do that it usually means they are hiding some characteristic inside themselves that scares them. That is Mary's case. She knows who she is and what she is capable of. I find it very complex when I get to play women like that." [cite news | first= | last= | title=Cover star: Charlize finds her hero | work=Wales on Sunday | publisher=Western Mail | date=2008-06-29 ]
*Eddie Marsan as Kenneth "Red" Parker, Jr., a bank robber. Having previously filmed the low-budget "Happy-Go-Lucky" (2008), Marsan found the transition to the big-budget "Hancock" to be a shock. Said Marsan, "I went from being in a car with Sally Hawkins in "Happy-Go-Lucky" to blowing up a bank in downtown LA." [cite news | first=Steve | last=Pratt | title=Marsan invasion | work=The Northern Echo | publisher=Newsquest | date=2008-05-12 ]



"The New York Times" noted that "Hancock"'s original story and controversial subject matter present a stark contrast to "a summerful of sequels and animated sure shots" and represent a gamble for "an increasingly corporate entertainment industry". "Hancock" had been reviewed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) twice, and both times received an R rating instead of the makers' preferred PG-13 rating to target broader audiences.cite news | first = Michael | last = Cieply | title = A Man of Steel With Feet of Clay | work = The New York Times | publisher=The New York Times Company | date = 2008-05-04 | url = http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/movies/moviesspecial/04ciep.html?_r=3&ref=movies&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin | accessdate=2008-05-07]

The MPAA questioned elements including Smith's character drinking in front of a 17-year-old and the character flying under the influence of alcohol. Scenes that were removed to garner a PG-13 rating from the MPAA included a scene of statutory rape, two of three uses of the "f-word" (the MPAA only permitted one use for the PG-13 rating), and intense shots of needles going into arms. The MPAA allowed scenes of Hancock shoving a prisoner's head up another's behind and of Hancock having explosive ejaculation during sexual intercourse, though Berg chose to save the latter scene for the DVD, explaining, "It just wasn't that funny. Never was. You'd put it in front of an audience and there'd be two, maybe three people laughing. There was no way to do that and then regain even a modicum of emotional integrity." The director kept the scene with the prisoners since a Las Vegas test screening was overwhelmingly successful: "At the end of the day, I couldn't ignore an audience when they're laughing that hard." [cite news | first=Glenn | last=Whipp | title=Will power: The wait is over! Will Smith returns to theaters as troubled superhero "Hancock" | work=Los Angeles Times | publisher=Tribune Company | date=2008-06-29 ] With such elements, studio executives only became comfortable with "Hancock" when the marketing approach focused on action and humor. Berg noted, "The ad campaign for this movie is much friendlier than the film." The MPAA ultimately gave the film a PG-13 rating, citing "some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and language".cite news | first=Brian | last=Linder | url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/879/879467p1.html | title=Preview: Hancock | work=IGN | publisher=News Corporation | date=2008-06-05 | accessdate=2008-06-24 ]

"Hancock" was originally titled "Tonight, He Comes" and later changed to "John Hancock" before settling on its final title. Prior to the film's release, Marketing consultants attempted to persuade Sony Pictures to again change the title "Hancock" because it was too vague for audiences, suggesting alternatives like "Heroes Never Die", "Unlikely Hero", and "Less Than Hero". Despite the advice, Sony stayed with "Hancock" and anticipated marketing on the popularity of the film's star, Will Smith. [cite news | first=Josh | last=Friedman | url=http://www.latimes.com/business/custom/admark/la-fi-titles12-2008may12,0,1867330.story | title=Some movies are entitled to do well | work=Los Angeles Times | publisher=Tribune Company | date=2008-05-12 | accessdate=2008-05-24 ]

Theatrical run

"Hancock" had its world premiere as the opener at the 30th Moscow International Film Festival on June 19, 2008. [cite news | first=Amie | last=Ferris-Rotman | url=http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSL2063506920080620 | title=Smith and Theron descend on Moscow to promote film | work=Reuters | publisher=The Thomson Corporation | date=2008-06-20 | accessdate=2008-06-24 ] To avoid copyright infringement, organizers took "unprecedented" steps to prevent illegal reproduction of the film. [cite journal | first=Vladimir | last=Kozlov | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/awards_festivals/news/e3i36ba53a2d13a6bd75c11ba21656ab04b | title=Moscow film fest to open with 'Hancock' | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-06-05 | accessdate=2008-06-16 ]

For the film, Sony created a digital camera package (DCP) having 4K resolution, containing four times more information than the typical DCP that possessed 2K resolution. Projectors for the higher-resolution package have been installed in 200 theaters in the United States with two dozen in evaluation. The impact of the package has been debated, with one argument being that the difference is not noticeable and the counter-argument being that the higher resolution has future value. [cite journal | first=Carolyn | last=Giardina | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i1ede78880f527007a069f58585e40906 | title='Hancock' dressed in 4K | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-07-03 | accessdate=2008-07-03 ]

Prior to the film's opening five-day weekend in the United States and Canada, predictions for its weekend performance ranged from as low as $70 million to as high as $125 million.cite news | first=Steve | last=Gorman | url=http://www.reuters.com/article/filmNews/idUKN0231557020080703?pageNumber=3&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true | title="Hancock" poised to extend Hollywood hot streak | work=Reuters | publisher=The Thomson Corporation | date=2008-07-02 | accessdate=2008-07-03 ] cite news | first=Josh | last=Friedman | url=http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-projector2-2008jul02,0,6983640.story | title='Hancock' must battle weak reviews and strong competition | work=Los Angeles Times | publisher=Tribune Company | date=2008-07-02 | accessdate=2008-07-03 ] According to CinemaScore, "Hancock" was given a B+ grade by audiences. [cite journal | first=Joshua | last=Rich | url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20210530,00.html | title='Hancock': Box-Office Fireworks Ahead | journal=Entertainment Weekly | publisher=Time Inc | date=2008-07-03 | accessdate=2008-07-14 ] The film was shown in advance screenings on July 1, 2008 in 3,680 theaters in the United States and Canada, grossing $6.8 million. The film was widely released on July 2, 2008, expanding to 3,965 theaters.cite journal | first=Pamela | last=McClintock | url=http://www.variety.com/VR1117988409.html | title='Hancock' a box office hero | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2008-07-02 | accessdate=2008-07-03 ] At the conclusion of the five-day weekend, "Hancock" took top placement at the box office in the United States and Canada, grossing an estimated $107.3 million. The film had the third-biggest opening 4th of July weekend after "Transformers" (2007) and "Spider-Man 2" (2004). "Hancock" was Will Smith's fifth film to open on a 4th of July weekend and was his most successful opening to date. The film was also Smith's eighth film in a row to take top placement in the American and Canadian box office and the twelfth film in Smith's career to lead the box office. [cite journal | first=Pamela | last=McClintock | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117988501.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title='Hancock' a holiday box office hero | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2008-07-06 | accessdate=2008-07-07 ] [cite news | first=Tiffany | last=Hsu | url=http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-boxoffice7-2008jul07,1,1869552.story | title='Hancock' a signature opening for Will Smith | work=Los Angeles Times | publisher=Tribune Company | date=2008-07-07 | accessdate=2008-07-07 ] "Hancock" was also Peter Berg's strongest opening of his directing career to date. [cite news | first=Michael | last=Cieply | url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/movies/07box.html?ref=movies | title=‘Hancock’ Powers to the Top of Box Office | work=The New York Times | publisher=The New York Times Company | date=2008-07-07 | accessdate=2008-07-11 ]

Outside of the United States and Canada, "Hancock" grossed $78.3 million in its opening weekend, drawing from 5,444 screenings across 50 markets, ranking it the third highest international opening of 2008 after "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Iron Man".cite journal | first=Dave | last=McNary | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117988530.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2564 | title='Hancock' exerts its Will overseas | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2008-07-06 | accessdate=2008-07-07 ] "Hancock" averaged $14,382 per screen. It placed on top in 47 of the 50 markets in which it opened;cite journal | first=Frank | last=Segers | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i9a3650f4bf2de299edf52f3379f45218 | title='Hancock' tops overseas boxoffice | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-07-06 | accessdate=2008-07-07 ] its strongest openings were the United Kingdom with $19.3 million, Germany with $12.4 million, South Korea with $8.5 million, Australia with $7.3 million, and China with $5.5 million. The Chinese opening was the fourth-biggest opening to date for the country. Other international performances included $3.4 million in Brazil and $3.1 million in Taiwan. In Hong Kong, the film opened in first place with $1.3 million, averaging $37,300 across the 35 venues. [cite journal | first=Patrick | last=Frater | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117988569.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2564 | title='Hancock' a hero in Hong Kong | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2008-07-07 | accessdate=2008-07-08 ] The film's overall gross for its opening five-day weekend worldwide is $185.6 million.

In the following weekend of July 11-13 2008, "Hancock" fell to second place in the United States and Canada behind "", grossing an estimated $33 million, a "modest" 47% drop in revenue. [cite journal | first=Carl | last=DiOrio | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i5dab627a6e5e9f67a073efd53be489c6 | title='Hellboy II' tops boxoffice | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-07-13 | accessdate=2007-08-13 ] The film's recorded American and Canadian attendance was higher than the Smith starrer "Men in Black II" (2002) in both films' second weekend, but it was significantly less than attendance records for Smith's other films, "Independence Day" (1996) and "Men in Black" (1997) through the same point. [cite news | first=Brandon | last=Grey | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=2503&p=.htm | title='Hellboy II' Sizzles | work=Box Office Mojo | publisher=Box Office Mojo, LLC | date=2008-07-14 | accessdate=2008-07-18 ] Overseas, "Hancock" expanded to 8,125 screens across 67 markets, ranking first at the box office again in 30 markets. The film's top opening grosses for the weekend included $11.4 million in Russia (589 screens), $9.9 million in France (739 screens), $4.6 million in Mexico (783 screens), $2.2 million in India (429 screens), $1.7 million in Holland (90 screens), $1.3 million in Belgium (69 screens), and $1 million in the Ukraine (81 screens). In territories playing "Hancock" for a second weekend, the United Kingdom dropped 45% to total $33.4 million to date, Germany 37% to total $24.2 million to date, South Korea 38% to total $14.7 million to date, and Australia 47% to total $14.4 million to date. [cite journal | first=Hy | last=Hollinger | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3icbacc817cd9e1b4e5f25df9bdf65d4d7 | title='Hancock' still soaring at int'l boxoffice | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-07-14 | accessdate=2008-07-15 ] For the second weekend, with the 67 markets, "Hancock" accumulated an estimated $71.4 million in the international box office, only a $7.2 million drop from the previous weekend in territories outside the United States and Canada.cite journal | first=Frank | last=Segers | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i5dab627a6e5e9f67dd345df12ac1c105 | title='Hancock' on top overseas again | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-07-13 | accessdate=2007-07-14 ]

In "Hancock"'s third weekend of July 18-20 the film took top placement in the international box office a third time, grossing an estimated $44.8 million from 8,286 screens across 71 territories. The film had beaten out "The Dark Knight", which premiered that weekend in 20 foreign markets. "Hancock" had tracked 32% internationally ahead of its performance in the United States and Canada. It had opened in four new markets for the weekend, ranking first in Spain with $8.6 million from 562 sites and first in Norway with $1 million from 60 sites. "Hancock" also kept top placement in France, estimating $4.4 million from 741 screens for a total of $16.8 million to date. [cite journal | first=Frank | last=Segers | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i1da5db18eb0203bb1a4bb902e91072cb | title='Hancock' holds on overseas | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-07-20 | accessdate=2008-07-20 ]

"Hancock" has grossed $227,946,274 in the United States and Canada.cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=hancock.htm | title=Hancock (2008) | work=Box Office Mojo | publisher=Box Office Mojo, LLC | accessdate=2008-10-09 ] cite web | url=http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2008/HANCK.php | title=Movie Hancock | work=The Numbers | publisher=Nash Information Services, LLC | accessdate=2008-10-09 ] "Box Office Mojo" has reported that the film has grossed $375,870,502 in other territories, while "The Numbers" has reported that the film has grossed $392,300,000.

The director said prior to "Hancock"'s release that if the film pulls in as much business as predicted, a sequel, "Hancock 2", would likely follow.

Home media

Hancock will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray November 25, 2008, and will come in single disc Theatrical or Unrated Verson, Two-Disc Unrated Special Edition, and Blu-Ray High Def. [http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=48416]

"Hancock" will be part of Sony's experiment in providing content to consumers who own a BRAVIA television equipped with an Internet connection. The film's release over the Internet will take place after its theatrical run and before its release on DVD. According to Sony executives, distributing "Hancock" is an opportunity to showcase BRAVIA, though the method has been perceived as an "obvious threat" to cable companies' video on demand. [cite news | first=Tim | last=Arango | title=A Movie on Your TV at Home, Before You Can Rent It | work=The New York Times | publisher=The New York Times Company | date=2008-06-30 ]


"Hancock" received mixed reviews from film critics. "Rotten Tomatoes" reported that 38% of critics gave the film positive write-ups, based upon a sample of 192, with an average score of 5.4/10.cite web | url=http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/hancock/ | title=Hancock Movie Reviews | work=Rotten Tomatoes | publisher=IGN Entertainment, Inc | accessdate=2008-08-11 ] At "Metacritic", which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 49, based on 37 reviews.cite web | url=http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/hancock | title=Hancock (2008): Reviews | work=Metacritic | publisher=CNET Networks, Inc | accessdate=2008-07-04 ]

Some critics reported that the film was a jumble of ideas that, despite starting well, did not fully deliver the edgy satire the subject matter promised, with a general consensus forming that it suffered from a weak story and poor execution. Todd McCarthy of "Variety" felt that the film's premise was undermined by the execution. McCarthy believed the concept ensured the film was "amusing and plausible" for its first half, but that the second half was full of illogical story developments and missed opportunities.cite journal | first=Todd | last=McCarthy | url=http://www.variety.com/VE1117937497.html | title=Hancock | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2008-06-24 | accessdate=2008-06-25 ] Stephen Farber of "The Hollywood Reporter" said that the opening established the premise well, but that the film came undone when it began to alternate between comedy and tragedy, and introduced a backstory for Hancock that didn't make sense. He said it rewrote its own internal logic in order to pander to its audience.cite journal | first=Stephen | last=Farber | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film/reviews/article_display.jsp?&rid=11308 | title=Film Review: Hancock | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-06-24 | accessdate=2008-06-25 ] Stephen Hunter in "The Washington Post" said it had begun with promise, but that the change in tone partway through was so abrupt that the film did not recover.cite news | url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070102882.html | title=Man of Bent Steel | http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070102882.html | first=Stephen | last=Hunter | work=The Washington Post | publisher=The Washington Post Company | date=2008-07-02 | accessdate=2008-07-04 ] Jim Schembri of "The Age" called the change in direction "an absolute killer story twist",cite news | url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/film-reviews/hancock/2008/07/03/1214950929338.html | title=Hancock review | first=Jim | last=Schembri | work=The Age | publisher=Fairfax Media | date=2008-07-03 | accessdate=2008-07-04 ] and David Denby of "The New Yorker" said it lifted the film to a new level by supplementing the jokes with sexual tension and emotional power.cite news | url=http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2008/07/07/080707crci_cinema_denby | title=Desperate Men | first=David | last=Denby | work=The New Yorker | publisher=Advance Publications | date=2008-07-04 | accessdate=2008-07-04 ]

Jim Schembri reported that Berg's direction helped to sell Hancock's "well-drawn" backstory, Todd McCarthy said the gritty visual approach adopted by Berg did not mesh well with the "vulgar goofiness" of certain scenes, and Stephen Farber said that Berg's frantic direction compounded the storytelling errors. Stephen Hunter said that Berg had not understood that the shifting tone and plot twists were meant to be humorous, and that he had played straight what was supposed to be a dark comedy and subversive satire. David Denby said Berg's style—especially his use of close-ups—was intended to showcase "genuine actors at work", while Manohla Dargis of "The New York Times" insisted Berg had taken Hancock to heart and brought gravity to the film.cite news | url=http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/movies/02hanc.html | title=Able to Leap Tall Buildings, Even if Hung Over | first=Manohla | last=Dargis | authorlink=Manohla Dargis | work=The New York Times | publisher=The New York Times Company | date=2008-07-02 | accessdate=2008-07-04 ]

David Denby described Smith's performance as contrasting with his performances in his other films. He said, "For the first time in his life, Will Smith doesn’t flirt with the audience... he stays in character as a self-hating lonely guy." Stephen Hunter argued that Smith and his co-stars had misunderstood the material in the same manner as Berg. He added that the examination of Smith's character came across at first as an examination of "phenomenally gifted" black sporting superstars who were "marginalized", "dehumanized" and exploited as a product by society. Manohla Dargis was struck by Theron's performance, saying that she enabled Smith to deepen the film's emotional complexity. Todd McCarthy said that Smith's "attitude-laden quips" helped to carry the film's superior first half, and that all three leads performed capably, but he said no opportunity was offered for the supporting characters to register. Roger Ebert writing in the "Chicago Sun Times" praised the three leads, saying that Smith avoided playing Hancock "as a goofball" and instead portrayed him as a more subtle and serious character.cite news | url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080630/REVIEWS/140273658 | title=Hancock review | first=Roger | last=Ebert | authorlink=Roger Ebert | work=Chicago Sun-Times | publisher=Sun-Times Media Group | date=2008-06-30 | accessdate=2008-07-04 ] Stephen Farber said that "Hancock" was a good showcase for the leads, affirming that Smith shone in a film that was only sporadically worthy of his performance.

Jim Schembri concluded that the film was "refreshing, savvy, fun and fast". He said it managed to mix comedy and action successfully, and that the drama came across as surprisingly genuine.cite news | url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/film-reviews/hancock/2008/07/03/1214950929338.html | title=Hancock review | first=Jim | last=Schembri | work=The Age | publisher=Fairfax Media | date=2008-07-03 | accessdate=2008-07-04 ] Stephen Farber believed that the extended development of the film had reduced its quality, but that the visual effects were "stellar" and showed wit. McCarthy praised the effects, but said the film was "both overwrought and severely undernourished." Roger Ebert observed the film was "a lot of fun", and Manohla Dargis admitted that it was "unexpectedly satisfying". She said that while it faltered and felt rushed towards its end, it had an emotional complexity and "raggedness" that spoke with sincerity about essential human vulnerabilities. Stephen Hunter concluded that "Hancock" was ultimately "indigestible".


"Hancock" won the award for "Best Summer Action/Adventure Movie" at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards. [cite web | url=http://teenchoiceawards.com/pdfs/TC08awardswinners.pdf | title=Teen Choice 2008 Winners | work=Teen Choice Awards | publisher=Fox Broadcasting Company | accessdate=2008-08-06 ]


External links

* [http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/hancock/ Official site and trailer]
*imdb title|id=0448157|title=Hancock
*amg movie|id=1:376678|title=Hancock
*metacritic film|id=hancock|title=Hancock
*mojo title|id=hancock|title=HancockBox Office Leaders USA
before = WALL-E
date = July 6
year = 2008
after =

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