Watchmen – Flop or not?

It has been two weeks since Zack Snyder‘s glorious adaptation of Watchmen hit our screens. Sadly, it hasn’t been the box office juggernaut we had hoped.

The picture opened to a decent $55 million in the U.S, which is unsurprising considering the picture’s R rating (keeping viewers younger than 17 out of the cinema) and the 2 hours and 40 minute running time (which limits the number of screenings per day). Although it opened lower than expectations, it was the 6th biggest opening weekend for an R-rated picture ever.

In its second weekend, the film dipped a momentous 68 percent to collect $17.8 million. With fans of the graphic novel turning out first weekend, the massive second week drop is no surprise. However, the film is not doing all that well internationally, having only picked up $48 million outside of the U.S.

The picture held a little better here in Australia. It only dipped 54% in its second week, and has so far grossed $6.4 million. Comparatively, Snyder’s last film 300 dipped 60% in its second week back in April 2007 (although it had grossed $3 million more at the same point).

Watchmen has collected $134 million worldwide which falls short of the picture’s production and marketing budget of approximately $200 million.

Some cynics believe Watchmen will struggle to hit the $200 million mark. However, Scott Thrill over at Wired is still positive. He notes that the film will be relatively unchallenged at the box office for the next month or so. The next movie aimed at young men (Watchmen’s core audience) will be Fast and Furious, which is slated for an April 16th release. The first blockbuster to really dominate the box office will likely be X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which doesn’t debut until early May.

Although the film is unlikely to hit $300 million worldwide, I truly hope that Snyder and co can secure a decent final theatrical figure for their bold film.

There has been a lot of negative word-of-mouth coming from audiences, with many viewers disappointed and confused by the film. As a fan of the comic, I felt completely satisfied by the final product. The film was a beautiful, mind-blowing experience. On my second viewing, I brought along some friends to gauge their reaction. One of them loved it, although the other two were severely disappointed. They expected an action movie along the lines of The Dark Knight, and complained that Watchmen was “too philosophical”.

They are right in a way. Watchmen is not an action movie at all, and it is very philosophical. However, that is exactly the reason why the comic (and now the film) are so unique and ultimately successful. Just because the film didn’t meet certain viewer’s expectations doesn’t mean it wasn’t great.

If you haven’t seen Watchmen yet, I IMPLORE YOU to go check it out. Don’t go in expecting Iron Man, or The Dark Knight or anything. Go in with an open mind, and get ready to discuss the wide ranging themes afterwards. And it has a big blue penis in it. Enjoy!

9 Responses to “Watchmen – Flop or not?”

  1. I went and watched this yesterday, i took my nan, who recently turned 80 along to see it as well, she will watch any movie no matter what it is, she loved 300 and said she wanted to give this a go. i will be fair and say i can’t really critique this movie fairly, due to falling asleep 3-4 times,so probably missed out on 20-30 minutes, not because of the movie(or maybe it was) but long hours at work. . I did go in expecting a full on action film, so that’s probably why a little of the dialogue did start to get to me after a while. the blue dudes voice, which i found really f…..n annoying, as well as rawshark or whatever his name was,bloody irritating, he sounded like christian bale in the dark knight,but with a golly stuck in his throat. i really didn’t see anything new in this movie, it wasn’t a bad movie it just wasn’t that good.But on the other hand nan F…..n loved it!

  2. @jr – sounds like your Nan totally rocks. There’s NO WAY I would’ve taken my grandmother to see this.Back on topic. I LOVED Watchmen. I haven’t read the novel, but was forewarned by a work colleague that this wasn’t your normal comic book movie.I really enjoyed how fresh and rich the story was – and how challenging some of the themes were. I’m definitely going to get my hands on the book.

  3. I was looking forward to Watchman and was really disappointed. It was confusing and tedious. The best part was the Star Trek trailer – now that’s gonna be a movie to see!!

  4. Have to agree with Anonymous above me.The previews indicate an action “super hero” film and this is hardly the case.It’s just a bunch of neanderthal vigilante thugs dressed up in costumes with no super hero powers. Maybe you’ll enjoy it if you’ve read the comic otherwise you’ll probably be severly disappointed. The nearly 3 hour running time doesn’t help.And yep, the Star Trek trailer is far more entertaining in every way then this film, which is just tedious. Doesn’t surprise me that it’s takings dropped off so quickly, cos either you’re a fan and you’ll love it, otherwise it’s nothing special and you’ll be warning your friends not to see it. Wait for it to come out on DVD if you’re desparate to see it, as I don’t think it will be too long before you’ll see it on the shelves in stores

  5. it was crap, i sat there for 30 minutes before asking the missus whats was happening she said "someone is knocking of the watchmen" can't be i thought there's only one dead ! the next two hours i watch this blue guy who constantly forgot to put his jocks on, c*ck bounce around the screen, and the young chick banging two of her buddies s*&t, if we had'nt taken a friend i would of walked out, instead i sat there praying for it to finish

  6. Loved it.Never knew a thing about it, never heard of it, never read or seen the book (apparently there is a book).Good complex characters and complex emotional and social issues, time spent to develop them all well.

  7. it’s really hard not to get really worked up (read: angry) at some of the criticisms against this film.are we really still going back to the penis argument?

  8. I am a critic of the film and I will tell you why I hate it, since you wondering what’s all the criticism. It has nothing to do with the penis, and I knew it wasn’t an action film, I was aware of its philosophical stance, I have not read the comic. Now why did I hate this movie? BORING. That’s all I can use to describe it. The characters felt flat, I didn’t feel any complexity. I saw it but I didn’t feel it. Which is the most important thing a film should do. No one goes to see pretty pictures, people go to experience something, I want to feel sad when something bad happens, I want to feel happy when characters achieve something, I want to feel disgusted when they do something bad. During the rape attempt I yawned. Comedian cracked Silk’s head I couldn’t care less. Rorschach dies, it was pity (he was the only character I felt anything for however minute) but it wasn’t as devastating as Nite Owl made it out to be and neither for the rest of the audience. I have never seen this happen before and swear this is true but everyone walked out of the cinema as soon as Rorschach died. I was the only one left in the cinema as soon as the credits started. Also it was repetitive. Zach had that great intro at the beginning. Too good, because it made all the flashbacks throughout the film redundant. It just kept telling us the same thing I already knew. The Watchman world is not as complex as you fanboys made it out to be. Zach summed it up in four minutes of Bob Dylan. The only flashback needed for the comedian in terms of character (the rape scene being needed for the plot) was the Vietnam war. It said everything I needed to know about the character. After that I felt like I was being dictated to like a little child. As if i would be to stupid to “get it”. That goes for the whole plot. for two hours I was being told the same thing again and again and again and again.Also the characters had no sense of personality until the jail breakout. Before that they were treated like mouthpieces for an essay on morality and justice. I felt like I was in a lecture hall. I was given no emotional justification to follow these characters. I was given no reason to care what happens to these characters. And don’t tell me the movie is to make me think, because it didn’t make me think it told me what to think. And if you want to make people think then you have to make people care. People have to be devastated when NY blows up not “oh what great effects”, then people will wonder was that the right thing to do?As an adaption it sounds like it was good, but as a film on it’s own it was boring. The fact that it is not an action film makes it all the more important that they give you an emotional hook because if your going to listen to people talk you want to care about what they say. And that was it’s biggest downfall, it didn’t make me care, all I got was pretty pictures which I could have done by looking at the comic book. What’s the point of the movie then, except I guess the pictures are moving.

  9. The movie was horrible. I am an avid fan of the comic, hated the movie. I too was annoyed by the radioactive penis, (I’m a female so, the omg you’re insecure with your sexuality rant, is useless). The film was a complete let down, poor direction and poor acting played a major role in its US failure. My guy friends hated it and some of my girl friendswent , just to see the penis fuss; they all collectively disliked the movie. I understand now why the comic creator was “spitting venom”. His work was ravaged by hollywood. The comic is so politically charged and philosophically motivated on levels hollywood can never grasp. It was watered down and the message(s) missed their targets. I think the only comic movie that’s going to do worse than this is the dragon ball movie.

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