'Watchmen' indeed reigned the box office following its release on March 6, but the next question is whether another movie from this comic book adaptation should be developed.
Most comic book adaptations in the past few years go for a darker tone without leaving a touch of the "wham, bam" action sequences. But, if you are expecting something like "The Dark Knight" out of "Watchmen", you couldn't be so wrong. This graphic novel adaptation has been from the beginning holding out a premise that it will be one grim, dark and complex comic book movie like none others.
What makes "Watchmen" unique? It presents gut-wrenching violence and intricate storyline, does not eliminate horrific subjects from rape to impotency, and unlike any other comic book adaptations before it, lays in the open the humane side of the costumed-heroes. It digs in the heroes' state of mind, reveals the real motivation behind their vigilante acts, displays how they turn their back on each other to achieve their goal and shows their flaws.
Under the capable hands of director Zack Snyder, this "unfilmable" novel has been transformed into watchable feature film for both the fans and those who haven't read the graphic novel. And, for that, while some may disagree, Snyder has done an impressive work in delivering this big screen version of the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel, which many dub as "the greatest comic book ever written".
BIG BUDGET, MILD INCOME
On the downside, though, while it has indeed opened first on both North American and overseas box office upon its first weekend release, it only has a mild opening weekend with $55.2 million bow. And, despite the $150 million budget and Warner Bros. Pictures effort in promoting this movie, it still fared lower than what "Fantastic Four", which was made with the budget of $100 million, has pulled in on its first weekend in theaters.
Nearly ten days following its release, "Watchmen" is still listed #40 on the all time-highest grossing comic book adaptation, well behind two other Alan Moore's novel adaptations, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and "V for Vendetta". In the genre of superhero movies, it came out #34, trailing behind Disney's 2005 movie "Sky High" and Wesley Snipes-starring "Blade".
SPOILER ALERT AHEAD! Whether the 163 minutes running time or Snyder's altercations to some of the plot played any role in the ticket sales result is still debatable. What obvious is Snyder has done some adjustment for the movie version which may leave fans disappointed. One in particular is the ending. Snyder has altered the faked alien apocalypse to a hoax suggesting that Dr. Manhattan attacks Earth's power centers. Another one is Rorschach's origin story. Instead of having Rorschach handcuffing 6-year-old Blair Roche's murderer to the crime scene before torching the place, Snyder made him axing down the baddie.
DR. MANHATTAN FOR A SPIN-OFF
With all of that being laid bare, the next big question is where "Watchmen" will go from here. Will it get a sequel treatment? Or should Warner Bros. develop its spin-off? As far as a sequel goes, it is unlikely to happen. Snyder has clearly stated that he is not interested in a sequel or prequel, explaining "To continue is to either rehash the same idea again or you're going to try to fix the characters, which goes against everything the book stands for, or you could pick up new characters - or I don't know what. To me, philosophically, it just doesn't make sense. "
Nonetheless, should another "Watchmen" movie is to be made, it would be interesting to see how Billy Crudup's Dr. Manhattan goes from turning his former colleague, Rorschach, into blood splatters. After all he's the only real super-powered being in the movie and he has just found his faith in humanity. Thus, quoting his smooth proclaim in both the novel and the film, "Nothing ever ends."