Ouch! So much for that $70 million debut. Watchmen still managed to finish in first place opening weekend, but its three-day total is only $55.6 million, way below what box-office experts were predicting, even after Friday’s disappointing finish. $56 million is nothing to sneeze at for a normal film, but given the expectations for this one, and how much money it has to make to break even, this isn’t great. In fact, it’s even below the opening weekend total for Zack Snyder’s last film, 300, which made $70.9 million to become March’s biggest opener of all time.
Watchmen‘s $56 million total gives the film the 6th biggest opening for an R-rated movie, which is also kind of a disappointment since it opened in more theatres than any R-rated movie in history, including 124 Imax screens with pricey tickets. (Fun fact: What R-rated film has the biggest opening in history? The previous record-holder for most screens its debut weekend: The Matrix Reloaded.) The movie’s softer-than-expected opening means it now has an even longer way to go (roughly $200 million) before Warner Bros. and Legendary can break even or turn a profit, and Watchmen was supposed to be big right out of the gate.
Thanks to a lack of competition, none of the other holdover films were even close to Watchmen‘s take this weekend. In second place was the unstoppable Tyler Perry with Madea Goes To Jail, which banked $8.8 million for a new cume of $76.5 million. Taken came in third with $7.4 million, cashing in on the teenage boys who were too young to get into the R-rated Watchmen. Slumdog Millionaire finished fourth with $6.9 million boosting its total to $125 million.
Making a surprise resurgence to the fifth spot, though, was the critic-proof Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It made $4.2 million for a new cume of $133.6 million. Paul Blart‘s high performance could be due to the fact that the movies in this weekend’s top 10 didn’t make much money in terms of three day grosses, or it got a nice chunk of business from parents who didn’t take their kids to see Watchmen.
Finally, as we predicted, every female-friendly movie in theatres now filled spots 6-9 in the following order: He’s Just Not That Into You, Coraline, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. Interesting that Shopaholic has managed to hold on nicely for what was perceived as such an ill-timed movie: it’s made $38.3 million to date. Coraline clawing its way to seventh place is also impressive, since the Jonas Brothers still have all of its 3D theatres, and considering how poorly that movie’s doing, maybe Disney should give them back.
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