How Much Did We Spend Watching the Watchmen? About $55.7 Million

Short version: It did good, but not that good. Long version: Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” opened strong with an uber Thursday midnight showing and Friday take, but fizzled a tad over the weekend, finishing up without much competition in first place with an estimated $55.7 million at the box office. Not bad, but it could have been better. Industry folks were talking $70 million, the amount Synder’s last film “300” opened with two years ago.

There’s no getting around it: Yeah, it did good business, but it didn’t do the kind of business people were expecting. And with a budget of $150 million, “Watchmen” is going to need a lot of overseas dough to make it the runaway success that everyone (from the studio to the comic book geeks) are hoping for. At this point, I’m not so sure. No doubt the film’s heavy R rating had a negative effect on ticket sales, as did the two and a half hour (plus) running time. It appears everyone who wanted desperately to see “Watchmen” finally realized on the big screen saw it at midnight Thursday or Friday, accounting for the film’s dazzling $25 million take before ticket sales began to taper off over the weekend.

At second was “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail”, another movie where a grown man dressed up in drags and, as the title implies, goes to jail. Yes, this thing is actually selling tickets. I wish I was kidding. But the surprise of 2009 so far has to be the Luc Besson actioner “Taken”, which once again climbed the charts, landing at #3 with $7.5 million for a six week total of $118 million so far. If we don’t get a “Taken 2” out of Besson and company by the end of 2009, I’ll be very disappointed.

Here’s your look at the box office Top 10 (via):

1 —–Watchmen —–$55,655,000 —–$55,655,000
2 —–Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail —–$8,800,000 —–$76,505,000
3 —–Taken —–$7,450,000 —–$118,049,000
4 —–Slumdog Millionaire —–$6,925,000 —–$125,441,000
5 —–Paul Blart: Mall Cop —–$4,200,000 —–$133,643,000
6 —–He’s Just Not That Into You —–$4,020,000 —–$84,647,000
7 —–Coraline —–$3,313,000 —–$65,680,000
8 —–Confessions of a Shopaholic —–$3,121,000 —–$38,356,000
9 —–Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience —–$2,785,000 —–$16,791,000
10 —–Fired Up —–$2,600,000 —–$13,360,000