"Watchmen" has started its run to the North American box office's top slot early Friday, March 6. Opening at 1,595 theaters across the country, the Zack Snyder-directed live-action movie was off to a decent-but-not-spectacular start with an estimated $4.6 million from its Friday midnight screenings, according to Media By Numbers.
With the nearly $5 million bow, the R-rated film has doubled the midnight box office gross of another Snyder's R-rated movie, "300", which hauled in $2.5 million in 2007. Still, it was far from the $18.5 million record-breaking midnight sales of "The Dark Knight", and even came up short from "Twilight" $7 million earning.
Despite of the comparison, Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, claimed that this midnight sales numbers "don't tell us it's going to be a huge blockbuster." He added that this comic book adaptation may collect somewhere around $46 million to $50 million for the three-day gross. Many were predicting a $70 million gross for the movie, but the two-and-a-half-hour-plus running time may have some effects to the sales.
"Watchmen" centers on vigilante Rorschach as he investigates the murder of a former hero and comes across a plot to discredit and murder various heroes from which he discovers a far wider-ranging conspiracy involving his colleagues' past which could completely change the course of history. The live-action film starring Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode, Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, and others, has been screened in U.S. big screen starting March 6.