As expected, WATCHMEN easily stood atop the weekend box office with $55.7 million:
Warner Bros.’ edgy superhero pic “Watchmen” grossed an estimated $55.7 million from 3,611 theaters in its domestic B.O. debut, coming in lower than expected but still scoring the best opening of the year and one of the best showings ever for an R-rated film. “Watchmen” placed No. 1 in North America as well as tops overseas, where it was the first major day-and-date release of 2009. Film grossed an estimated $27.5 million from 5,097 theaters internationally for a worldwide total of $83.2 million. Paramount is distributing abroad.
However, the opening take lags behind300′s bow, and opinions over whether the movie is a solid hit or a disappointing hit, whether it has legs, and whether it will do well overseas remain divided, even as WB execs remain optimistic:
The studio is even optimistic about attracting moviegoers from outside Watchmen’s sweet spot of males ages 17-to-34. I’m told it’s solid across all demos, and even doing well with females. That may be due to Warner Bros’ $50 million marketing budget for the movie — about average for a tentpole these days. The studio invested in a very aggressive campaign that spent big in the outdoor market and on TV advertising. But what’s amusing is that rival marketing gurus say they’re surprised and impressed by the campaign that’s also left them confused what the movie is about or even who the good guys or bad guys are and why. As one of them admired: “The campaign was about planting a big flag in the ground as if to say, ‘We are an event. And if you don’t understand that, then you’re not cool enough to get it’. “
Bonus links: Jog’s review for ComiXology.
And a review with screenwriter David Hayter:
Although Snyder and screenwriter Alex Tse (the TV movie “Sucker Free City”) made numerous changes to Snyder’s “Watchmen” script, his contributions were significant, and he shares screenplay credit with Tse on the finished film. “I put more work into this film than anything I have ever done,” says Hayter, who has writing credits on “X-Men” and its sequel “X2.” But the 40-year-old writer thinks that over the six years he was involved in the movie, “Watchmen” only has grown more topical. “What these intervening years did is remind us how fragile the world is,” Hayter says. “The movie is all about moral certitude and the various costs of moral certitude.” Unchecked power, Hayter says, has rarely been as much of an issue: “How do we know that people making all of the decisions are not woefully human, which is what they are?”
Bonus Bonus: A report from a fun looking WATCHMEN-inspired art exhibit at Meltdown in LA; above, a Hostess parody by Elan Trinidad.
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