Monday, March 09, 2009

'Watchmen' box-office victory nothing to celebrate.

Even though the movie sucked, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Zack Snyder's Watchmen would take top spot at the box-office this weekend. Reason being, it was hyped to hell, it was the only movie coming out this weekend, and the rest of the movies that had a reasonable shot at making the top five were at least two weeks old.

But when the numbers came back, I am sure Warner Bros. was a little miffed that the $100 million budgeted film only made an estimated $55 million. Compare that with the fact that Snyder's 300 made the same company $70 million on it's opening bow plus the enourmous marketing and legal fees that Watchmen incurred, and you have the makings of what could be a modest box-office flop.

Even more telling are the daily numbers. While most films tend to make more money on Saturday than Friday because more people can attend matinee screenings, Watchmen's numbers dropped from $25 million on Friday to $19 million on Saturday. And while part of Friday's numbers could be attributed to the $4 million worth fans who attended the midnight screening on Thursday, that still leaves $21 million on Friday proper, making for a $2 million drop between the first day of the weekend and Saturday.

Then the worst of it hit on Sunday, when the film's earnings dipped to $11 million. This was no doubt caused by bad worth of mouth, and limited repeat business.

It doesn't take a horse doctor to figure out the movie will drop even harder next weekend, when the movie shall weather both a wave of new releases and a negative critical and audience response.

I'm guessing the drop will be about 65-80%. Maybe Warners should rush out that Director's Cut DVD before nobody cares about the film anymore.

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