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.
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.