Here’s a sad story: Watchmen, which may not have been perfect but was still a fine attempt at the rare, ballsy superhero movie, looks like it’s going to be outgrossed by 1997’s Batman & Robin - pretty much the gold standard in horrible horrible filmmaking (see video evidence below).
Seven weeks after its release, Watchmen’s legs have all but buckled. For the weekend just gone, the film brought home $199,114. That makes for a total take of $106,848,750 in America. It’s the 358th most successful film of all time in the US, and in 357th is Batman & Robin.
Overseas, things haven’t been as bright as hoped for either. The current international take for the film currently sits at $74,207,581, for a total worldwide gross of $181,103,123. For the sake of comparison, Batman & Robin drew over $130m overseas, for a total of $238m. We estimated, and we thought conservatively, that Watchmen would get to around $150m in the US, but it seems fairly clear now that it won’t even make it to $110m.
Out of Watchmen’s receipts has to come the exhibitors’ revenues, marketing costs, distribution expenses and such like. And then there’s the film’s budget, with the most conservative suggesting that it cost $120m to bring the film to the screen in the first place.
Sad. But maybe the execs will be circumspect, and realize it wasn’t the tone or the rating that was to blame, maybe it was just unrealistic to think a cult graphic novel would compete with a movie about comic-book superheroes that have been around for 50 years. Ha, just kidding. Of course they won’t. They’ll just think “See? I told you we should’ve cast a Black-Eyed Pea.”