When The Dark Knight set box office records for months, the bar was set very high for comic book movies, and movies in general. Watchmen is trying to get a respectable box office total, to prove that there can be more than one dark comic book movie that is a massive hit. It has become clear that Watchmen is in no way a Dark Knight like hit, both in box office and in reviews. However, the Watchmen box office total has piled up very nicely to start the weekend anyway.
According to box office prognosticator Steve Mason, Watchmen collected more than $4 million on its initial midnight screenings early Friday morning. Throughout the rest of the day, Watchmen collected over $21 more million, bringing its estimated opening day box office to $25.2 million.
With this early projection, Watchmen’s final box office for the weekend could be somewhere between $60-70 million. The largest opening weekend ever for an R-rated movie is The Matrix Reloaded, with over $91 million. But Watchmen had opened in the most screens ever for an R-rated release.
Making close to $70 million is more of an average first weekend for a big blockbuster movie nowadays. Such a box office total is still impressive for a brutal, critically divided movie like Watchmen, nonetheless.
However, many critics and pundits are predicting possible disaster for the next few weeks afterward. Will people other than Watchmen cult followers want to see such a movie again a second time? Will they be too turned off to enjoy it, and spread bad word of mouth instead?
An ultra dark superhero film like The Dark Knight had staggering word-of-mouth, and Heath Ledger’s brilliance, to keep it on top of the box office all summer. Watchmen has mixed reviews, a difficult plot to follow for outsiders, and no Oscar-winning performance at the center.
Steve Mason predicts that Watchmen will not even be able to beat director Zach Snyder’s last megahit 300, which finished with $210 million.
For this weekend, at least, Watchmen has dethroned two-time box office champion Madea Goes to Jail, which grossed an projected $2.43 million, bringing its estimated total up to over $70 million. Long time box office hits Taken and Slumdog Millionaire are still up in the top 5.
Big Hollywood- “Watchmen with $25.2M opening day & a possible $62.5M 3-day” bighollywood.breitbart.com/smason/2009/03/06/estimates-7/
RopeofSilicon- “Watchmen Manages $25.2 Million in Early Box Office Estimates” www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/watchmen-manages-252-million-in-early-friday-box-office-estimates
Lime Life- “Why Watchmen Will Fail at the Box Office” www.limelife.com/blog-entry/Why-Watchmen-Will-Fail-at-the-Box-Office/3246.html