Opening in 1,595 theaters, “Watchmen” scored $4.6 million from Midnight previews Thursday night according to Media By Numbers. A strong, but not spectacular start for the R-rated thriller. However, the Zack Snyder epic expands to 3,611 theaters, a record for an R-rated film, today.
The picture also sold out all 124 midnight showings and some exhibitors added 3 AM shows. For Snyder, the gross doubles the midnight box office for his last release, “300.” That action picture went on to gross $70.9 million in its opening weekend.
Many were predicting a similar $70 million gross for “Watchmen,” but the three and a half hour running time may dampen those estimates. Recent midnight openings such as “Twilight” and “The Dark Knight,” did $7 million and $18.5 million respectively. It’s possible “Watchmen” will end up more in the $45-50 million range.
Look for updates on Friday’s numbers tomorrow on HitFix.
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