Who watches the Watchmen? Not enough of us, apparently. E! Online reports that after the film’s $55.7 million opening last weekend, sales are estimated to have plummeted 67 percent to an $18.1 million Friday-Sunday gross this week. The anticipated comic book adaptation sagged behind Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which earned $25 million.
Now, no one expected a deconstructionist superhero story loaded with sex, violence and blue penises to go head-to-head with a PG-rated big-budget family film, but even Disney is shocked that the weekend box office race wasn’t all that competitive.
"I think everybody thought it would have been a lot closer,” says Disney distribution president Chuck Viane.
Personally, I loved Watchmen the first time around and plan on seeing it in theaters again. However, it’s understandable that the film isn’t necessarily a hit with general audiences. By design, Watchmen just isn’t a crowd-pleaser like Iron Man, The Dark Knight or the first two Spider-Man films. Moviegoers expecting a typical “superhero movie” with no prior knowledge of the source material may be a tad thrown off. And that’s unfortunate.
On a lighter note, you can read my overwhelmingly positive review of Watchmen on Broken Frontier.