Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

March 9, 2009

You're thinking of that Saturday morning cartoon Watchmen viral video, aren't you?

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People like them some depressing, dystopic, violent action

Kim Hollis: Watchmen earned an estimated $55.2 million. Is this result better, worse or about what you had expected from the project?

Brandon Scott: I'll be honest, right or wrong, this is significantly worse. I thought with all of the hype surrounding the film, coupled with what Snyder's 300 did a few years back, that we could be looking at a figure close to the inverse of that, $75 million. I think that they have to be disappointed by this figure. Clearly, there was no crossover appeal to women, and the long 2:43 run time hurt it.

Max Braden: Three months ago in our Prophecy, I dismissed it as looking silly and predicted an opening in the low thirties. I only bumped that up to $58 million after I saw the movie and was impressed. I wasn't so impressed that I thought it would beat 300's record - Watchmen still seemed like it was more of a niche project and the massive length wasn't going to help.


Tim Briody: Despite what Max and Brandon said, I never buy length as a factor in box office. If people want to see something, they'll find the time. It's not like every single show sold out, either. That said, this was a niche product involving nearly 25-year-old source material that I'm sure was older than a majority of the audience. The opening is impressive but the studio shot themselves in the foot with the negative cost.

Daron Aldridge: It is lower than Wanted as I predicted in Prophecy. I agree, Tim, that length doesn't matter if you want to see the film but I think the running time is factor simply because theaters aren't able to milk an additional screening out per day. Unless the previous four showings were not even close to being sold out, a fifth showing would likely surpass the number of empty seats in the previous times. That's my take on the running time argument. It's more about the extra screening and not viewers being turned off.

Josh Spiegel: It's definitely lower than I'd have thought, even without any huge stars. Not only was Snyder behind 300, but this movie has been getting hyped ever since the big trailer in front of The Dark Knight. The length, however, is only a problem for the many people who aren't familiar with the source material. The Dark Knight was only a few minutes shorter, but Batman is a far more recognizable character; as has been mentioned below, it's a mixture of length and a lack of familiarity.

Sean Collier: I wouldn't look to the running time as an explanation if it weren't for the comparison with 300. Watchmen was better promoted than 300, and from more well-known (if slightly) source material. With the same release date, there's gotta be a reason why Watchmen didn't do as well as Zack Snyder's previous graphic novel adaptation, and I'd look to the run time. Whether it put audiences off or simply reduced the number of potential customers, I'd blame the run time, and call this a slight disappointment.

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