Watchmen Leads Weekend Boxoffice at $55.7m

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.

39 thoughts on “Watchmen Leads Weekend Boxoffice at $55.7m

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  3. 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?

    1. 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…

  4. 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.

    1. 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

  5. Wow I didn’t expect that number at all. This was indeed an awesome movie. The fight scenes made me feel like I was watching a living comic book. Rorschach indeed stole the show and I actually like Night Owl. Roeper said that he was reminded of Adam West’s batman. Personally I enjoyed the Night Owl character. The music ruled this movie and they played songs I haven’t heard in forever. I give the movie a 9.

  6. I saw it on Friday afternoon and was blown away by it. The earlier criticisms of Ms. Ackerman I didn’t agree with. I think she did a good job and the music was fine. Being a ‘child of the sixties’ and the Nixon years the music fit and did not detract. Rorschach stole the show! Just a great job! Thanks Mr. Snyder! Maybe you can direct a World’sd Finest film somewhee down the road……Oh, one more thing…Alan Moore was a conceited idiot for taking his name off the project. With the un-employment #’s in the UK, those residuals might have come in handy! :)

  7. Watchmen disappointed in the box office.
    Next weekend will show if this movie will be a hit or not. Depends on how big the drop will be.

    1. Next weekend The Race to Witch Mountain and The Last House on the Left. I think Watchmen still has a chance to stay at number one.

    1. I would agree with you on the music. I would like to say I understand where Snyder was trying to go with the 80’s songs. What better way to remind the viewers the of a time period than it’s music, but honestly I think it would of been better fitting to throw the songs in as background noise from a radio or jukebox while keeping the main soundtrack to composed music. I would not say the music is corny, as they had some pretty killer songs in the movie. They just did not flow that well. The opening of 99 Red Balloons works good for that nostalgic almost romantic scene, but as soon as it breaks out into the new wave rock anthem it changes into a whole other beast that no longer fits it’s original scene. Now a good use of music was the trailer with the Smashing Pumpkins song. That song went flawlessly with the trailer, and I personally think that darker style music would have been quite fitting for the movie. When Archie came up out of the water I was totally expecting that song to play, even though I knew it would not. Music aside, though, very awesome movie.

    2. The soundtrack was awesome. The opening credits sequence with the music was great and put you in the mood. My only problem with the film was their was one scene of violence that grossed me out, and also, while it didn’t phase me as much as I thought it would and I can understand why the director did this, I wasn’t thrilled seeing Dr. Manhattan’s penis. Other than that, the movie rocked.

      Oh and another thing, is anyone on this sight complaining about the ending? I liked it and all, but I’d figure it would be argued about.

  8. yeah but did you see number 2? madea goes to fucking jail or whatever?

    its like 8 million

    the list shows how watchmen is pwning all…5 million…7 million..8 million..8.5 million….55 MILLION

    1. Dude, that Madea movie cost no money and is in its third weekend and still making bank. Watchmen should do so well. The first weekend isn’t the one to watch for this kind of film — it’s the second, third, fourth, etc. If there’s a huge drop off next weekend Watchmen is screwed. The legal battle alone cost WB zillions of bucks.

    2. Don’t put down Madea goes to Jail just because it only made $8 million. It must of cost $10 million to make and was shown on probably under 1000 screens. The guy who makes those movies is a walking cash machine.

    3. so is the guy who invented the crocs and the jonas brothers

      but madea goes to jail is simply not my cup of tea…it just looks really bad

    4. They arent bad really… I was dragged to Medeas family reunion by the GF and actually ended up really enjoying the movie. Dont knock it till you tried it

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