Hancock, Will Smith's new film about a reluctant superhero, has debuted at the top of the US box office.

The Columbia Pictures release earned an impressive $66 million (£33 million) over the July 4th holiday weekend in the US to claim the number one spot.

Last week's number one, Disney/Pixar's Wall-E, fell to second while children's film Kit Kittredge: An American Girl was the only other new entry in the top ten, climbing from 15th to eighth.

Despite mixed reviews, Hancock - which also stars Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman - charmed audiences sufficiently to achieve Smith's eighth-consecutive number one movie.

"Audiences love Will Smith and the characters he plays," Columbia's president of domestic theatrical distribution Rory Bruer told Variety.

"People want to share in the things he's doing."

The film sees Smith as a drunken superhero who undergoes a PR makeover to repair his tattered reputation.

The top ten films at the US box office are: (last week's position)

1 Hancock - $66 million [£33 million] (-)
2 Wall-E - $33.4m [£16.2 million] (1)
3 Wanted - $20.6m [£10.3 million] (2)
4 Get Smart - $11.1m [£5.5 million] (3)
5 Kung Fu Panda - $7.5m [£3.7 million] (4)
6 The Incredible Hulk - $4.9 million [£2.4 million] (5)
7 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $3.9 million [£1.9 million] (7)
8 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl - $3.6 million [£1.3 million] (15)
9 Sex And The City - $2.3million [£1.1 million] (9)
10 You Don't Mess with the Zohan - $2 million [£1 million] (10)

07/07/2008 09:18:26