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March 8, 2009

Watchmen Leads Weekend Boxoffice at $55.7m

— Posted by Rodney

Watchmen struggled through obscurity but still landed in the top spot at the boxoffice this weekend. Calling it the biggest opening weekend of 2009 is modest considering we are just peeking past the first quarter with the big draw summer movies still ahead, but for the die hard fans it isn’t about the numbers this movie rings in on the registers, but a momentous moment that the movie is finally released.

Yahoo reports:

Still, it was not quite as big as the $70 million take of Snyder’s “300″ in 2007. Dan Fellman, head of distribution for “Watchmen” studio Warner Bros., said it was unfair to compare the two films.

“They’re two different movies,” Fellman said Sunday. “This is a movie that runs two hours and 45 minutes. That really only leaves the exhibitor with one showing a night. If you have an 8 o’clock show, the next show is at midnight. So with essentially one show a night, I think this is outstanding.”

I hadn’t considered the effect that its long running time may have on the final tallies. While many of our readers were throwing around numbers anywhere from $50million to $70million, I quietly hoped that it would hit $70m, but realistically I didn’t think it would.

I am impressed enough that it hit $55.7m. That is still a very respectable number for an opening weekend.

However when compared to its $150m production budget, the race isn’t over yet. Mind you I think that there is still some potential with the following weeks combined with international numbers and DVD sales. You know the cult fanboys are going to be all over having a copy of this on their shelf.

Reviews are still very bipolar with many claiming it as revolutionary genius to utter garbage. I think a lot of that has to do with appreciation for the story and anticipating what you were getting into. Movie patrons distracted by the comic book costumes might have expected this to be a Spiderman or Dark Knight type of story, but it is a very concept driven tale that although littered with action scenes and explosions is truly appreciated as the exploration of ideas.

The true characters of this film are the ideas behind their motivations, not the brightly fashioned action heroes we are used to seeing.

This makes this film something of an instant cult classic, appreciated by some and misunderstood by most.

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  • AARON

    BTw, good number for the box office even in March

  • http://n/a Tripp Van Easille

    …one more thing, Silk Spectre II can kick my door in anytime she pleases. I gotta get me an OWL Airship!!!

  • alfie

    55 million is a great number for a very odd R rated long film.But unfortunately when you take the budget (150 mill) and then add in marketing and whatever settlement money they came to with fox once that is all added up this thing will have cost well north of 200 million so if it takes a %40 hit next weekend which it more than likely will its gonna struggle.

    • dax

      lets just face it, this movie won’t make a profit.

    • Quietus

      Won’t make a profit? Er, helloooo do foreign box offices and DVD sales mean nothing to you?

    • alfie

      it has opened overseas in a ton of places and is not setting the BO on fire.
      For a film this size it needed its domestic to be better plain and simple.

      The film will just creep past 100 mill and more than likely wind up around the 120 mark if its lucky.

      It dropped 78% this weekend. That is terrible for a film that needed to have legs. Thats a bigger percentage drop than the happening.

      DVD will help but this was an extremely expensive film and it is going to struggle to break even.

      heads will roll at the studio over this.

  • Ryan

    Honestly, I’m more excited for the staying power of Taken. Not the most realistic movie, but my most enjoyable flick of the year so far.

    • Sound Designer Dan

      I’m more befuddled by the staying power of Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It’s stupid but people love the hell outta that movie.

  • bigsampson

    ok so i just finished reading the comic books sunday and the ending was fucking crap…..seriously from what i read about them changing the ending it makes complete sense…its like all they did in the comic was plop down a giant octapuss and told some real shallow story of how ozy had a telepathic brain in it……didnt explain shit..to be honest i really dont see why this was even drawn…they could have made it a real book with more story…everything in the comic is so brief on description except for little things like a snowball globe or a newstand….not my kind of story telling at all….ps my opinion of the book was it was cool but left to many gaps in character devolpment … rorchasch was a awesome character but the silver specter II was lame..her mom was kinda cool but its like wtf good is he…was she just in it to be a fuck puppet for dr manhattan and the owl guy?

    • cltmikey

      You will like the ending of the movie 100% better. Id put money on it. It makes a hell of a lot more sense and the ending was the only part of the book I actually disliked… SS2 is a lot stronger of a character and less whiney in the movie as well. At least thats how she come off to me…

  • Kiddo

    Next weekend will really be the decider for this movie. I loved it, but it was unreal to think this movie could gross more than 70 mill on an opening weekend, when it was rated R ran for close to 3 hours and wasn’t a sequel.. 300 was an exception for its genre.
    My guess is it will gross anywhere from 150 to 170 final, but it can get its money back form international gross and DVDs.

    • dax

      no, I think this movie could be in the same trajectory as Hulk (2003) range which made 130 million.

    • Kiddo

      We’ll see with next weekend, but it could also go the way of the Hulk like you say and burn out quickly :S I hope not, more people should see this film

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