The first event motion picture of 2009 is released this weekend. Watchmen debuts with very high expectations, and I’m sure Warner Bros. and Paramount are expecting an opening even higher than Zach Snyder’s previous film 300. 300 opened 2 years ago in March and had the highest opening weekend ever for the month, grossing $70.1 million. Watchmen has a lot of hype, but it has a couple of things going against it. One, the running time is 2 hours 43 minutes, so there will not be as many shows times. One could argue that this is not that big a deal as Spider-Man 3 and The Dark Knight have the two biggest openings of all time, and run about 2 hours 30 minutes each. The second is that I fear the film will not be embraced by the mainstream audience. I expect a very good opening weekend, but I think it will fade away. Some analysts are predicting a softer opening between $50 – $65 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are right, but I’m going to be a little more liberal. Watchmen will easily win the weekend, and I predict it will gross $75 million.
No other studio decided to wide release a film this weekend, as they feared Watchmen would slaughter them, so do not expect to see much change in the Top 5 this weekend.
Here are my predictions:
1) Watchmen – $75 million
2) Slumdog Millionaire – $9 million
3) Madea Goes To Jail – $7.5 million
4) Taken – $6 million
5) He’s Just Not That Into You – $4.5 million