UPDATED: Weekend Predictions: 'Watchmen'
Featured Stories - on March 05, 2009 by Phil Contrino
A group of unconventional superheroes will end Tyler Perry's run at the top of the box office.
Who watches the Watchmen ? A lot of moviegoers, that's who.
With no significant competition this weekend, Watchmen is poised to easily grab the top spot at the box office. Fans of the original graphic novel will come out in droves to support the film, and most of them will even catch the midnight screenings. Although, Watchmen 's true strength will be determined by how many new fans it can entice. Considering that Watchmen 's closest competition this weekend will be Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, crucial male demographics will flock to the film even if they haven't read the graphic novel. With a location count of 3,611, Watchmen has set a record for the most opening locations for an R-rated film.
|March 6 to March 8, 2009 Weekend Predictions|
|Title||Gross (M)||Cume (M)||Locations||Inc./Dec.|
|3||Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail||$7.5||$75.2||2,151||+99|
|5||Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience||$5.5||$19.4||1,276||+5|
|6||Paul Blart: Mall Cop||$4.3||$133.8||2,558||-140|
|7||He's Just Not That Into You||$4.0||$84.7||2,445||-413|
|9||Confessions of a Shopaholic||$3.4||$38.7||2,290||-244|
The trailers for Watchmen have also been extremely powerful. In a recent poll of more than 1,000 moviegoers conducted by Fandango, 98% of respondents said that online clips and trailers made them more excited to see the movie. With all the excitement surrounding this flick, it's easy to forget that its release date was almost pushed back due to a feud between 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. over the rights to the adaptation. The result of that feud is definitely going to cut into the profits that Warner Bros. rakes in from the film since they're to forced to pay a settlement to Fox. Watchmen will need every penny it earns at the box office to overcome not only the fees owed to 20th Century Fox, but also its mammoth $100 million (or more) budget and marketing expenses.
Watchmen director Zack Snyder is now well on his way to building some serious trust among mainstream audiences. His last film, 2007's 300, was also an adaptation of a wildly popular graphic novel and it opened on March 9. The Warner Bros. release debuted with $70.8 million ($77.6 million when adjusted for inflation) before wrapping up its domestic theatrical run with $210.6 million (around $230.8 million when adjusted for inflation). In the future, selling a film with the tagline "From the director of 300 and Watchmen " will be a very appealing concept to all of the major studios.
After a mediocre opening weekend, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience will most likely lose around 55-60% of its audience during its sophomore frame. Disney has to be disappointed considering that JB3D won't even make in its entire theatrical run what Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour did in its opening frame, which was $31 million.
Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail should also fall around 60% from its #1 finish last weekend. Perry's films never have strong lasting power, but their opening weekends make up for that. Jail is still on course for a domestic theatrical haul of $80 million.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.