March 6, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Watchmen

February may have closed with a whimper, but it was still a record setting month in what has been an explosive year at the box office. The economy may be terrible, but we are still going to the movies in record numbers. March looks to get the blockbuster season off to an early start with the much hyped Watchmen. To say expectations are high would be an understatement. I am really looking forward to this and truly hope not to be let down.

Watchmen. (2009, 163 minutes, R, science fiction, trailer) I have been looking forward to this from the very first moment I heard it was entering production. When it was announced that Zack Snyder was signed to direct, I was even more intrigued. The director has proven to have a good eye and I had been impressed with his prior outings, 300 and the Dawn of the Dead remake. As the film neared completion and some snips began to appear, I became even more excited over its impending release. Then the lawsuit came around and the ugliness between Fox and Warner Bros. threatened to blindside the project and put it on the shelf. Fortunately, an agreement was reached before the release date had to be changed. Now it is hear and I eagerly look forward to seeing it on the IMAX screen.

The movie is an adaptation of a graphic novel said to be the greatest ever created. It was originally released in 1986 and was created by writer Alan Moore (who hates Hollywood and refuses to be associated with any of his adapted works, of course, I would not want to be associated with The League of Extraordinary Gentleman either) and Dave Gibbons. It has long been said to be unfilmable, now that notion can be put to the test. Early word seems to be split.

I admit that I do not know a lot about the novel, but plan on reading it following seeing the film. The story is set in an alternate 1985 with the world on the brink of nuclear war and where superheroes have been forced out of their spandex. However, the murder of a hero brings another hero around with some questions. I am sure that is overly simplistic, but I did not want to read too much about what happens.

The screenplay was written by David Hayter (X2, X-Men, Scorpion King) and Alex Tse. The cast includes Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Ackerman, Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, and Carla Gugino.


Story Introducton with Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons

Character Clip: Ozymandias

Character Clip: Rorshach

Character Clip: Dr. Manhattan

Interview: Jackie Earle Haley

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • 12
  • 13B
  • The Blue Toothed Virgin
  • Dhoondte Reh Jaoge
  • Everlasting Moments
  • Explicit Ills
  • The Horesman
  • Phoebe in Wonderland
  • Shuttle

Box Office Predictions
The last weekend of February went out on a whimper. I predict March is going to get out of the gate with a bang. Watchmen is all but guaranteed of making a killing. The big question is just how high will it fly? I want to say it will fly really high, but I am not sure. It is an R rated film and those do not generally get giant openings. Still, I have some faith as the hype machine has been in full swing and there have been some highly positive reviews coming out, such as a four star offering from Roger Ebert. That should help push it up a little bit.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office

Watchmen$68 million
2Slumdog Millionaire$10million
3Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail$12 million
4Taken$9 million
5Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience$6.5 million
6He's Just Not That Into You$6 million
7Coraline$4.75 million
8Paul Blart: Mall Cop$4.5 million
9Confessions of a Shopaholic$3 million
10Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li$2.5 million


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