Watchmen Makes $4.6 million from Midnight Sneaks

By David Mumpower

March 6, 2009

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Watchmen has been one of the most hotly contested box office debates in some time. It is a true wild card in terms of box office performance with no one in the industry having a firm grasp of exactly what to expect from its opening weekend. Analysts have guessed as low as the mid-$30s and as high as slightly surpassing 300's $70 million debut. As recently as yesterday, the two major industry trades, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, were reticent to offer an estimate of Watchmen's weekend tally since the range was so wide on what it could do this weekend. Today, the situation looks much clearer.


Watchmen earned $4.6 million from midnight sneaks across the country, more than double 300's total in the same circumstances. Considering that less than half of the movie's 3,611 exhibitions included 12:01 a.m. showings, this is particularly strong. Many of the 1,600 theaters that did offer overnight admissions added a 3 a.m. showing to further aid exhibitors in meeting the significant early demand.

Based on the larger-than-anticipated overnight performance, Variety has boosted their expectation for the weekend total, stating that a March record opening is now in the cards for the movie. Whether this assertion proves correct remains to be seen, but Watchmen appears poised to garner $25 million or more on Friday, thereby all but guaranteeing one of the best March performances ever. Check back with BOP's Tim Briody tomorrow to see exactly how well the title did today.



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