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448 comments

It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687491)

When Watchmen shot out of the blocks to an opening weekend of $55m in the US back at the start of March, there were some mutterings of discontent that this wasn't quite the kind of number that Warner Bros was looking for.

Well, to be fair, stateside that puts it at #6 [boxofficemojo.com] for opening weekend for a Rated R movie. And 64th [boxofficemojo.com] overall. Worldwide so far it's sitting at $180+ million [imdb.com] and, like the article said, DVD and Blu-Ray sales often make a big difference.

I've heard that the estimated budget was $100 million. So they've made $80 million over that ... so what is the problem exactly? You've made the #6 most popular R rated movie by opening weekend in the United States. Job well done. I assure you that DVD and Blu-Ray sales will net you a lot of money. Especially with that Curse of the Black Freighter stuff you withheld from the movie.

It was always going to be a harder sell than a Batman or Spider-man movie ...

For the love of all things binary, I thought it was common knowledge that you cannot compare rated R movies to PG-13 movies. Every single Batman & Spider-man movie has been rated below R.

The movie did well and I'm sure it was worth it.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (5, Informative)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687517)

>I've heard that the estimated budget was $100 million. So they've made $80 million over that ...
>so what is the problem exactly?
The usual rule of thumb is that a film needs to make 2.5-3 times it's budget before it's profitable - that allows for everyone in the chain, cinemas etc to get their cut. As such, Watchman needs to make around $300m before it makes the studio happy.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (1, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687575)

Yeah - I'm glad they made it and I'm glad I saw it. But I'm also glad that I didn't have a stake in it - It had to be an unsettling investment for those who did. It's got to feel good to have participated, but it was obviously a gamble from the beginning. Watchmen is definitely aimed at a niche market.

Still - I'll bet that DVD sales are good. TPB be damned, I'll have a boxed copy here.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (2, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687673)

>Still - I'll bet that DVD sales are good.
Yep. It will be Serenity all over again.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (4, Interesting)

orkybash (1013349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688163)

You're seriously comparing a movie that did $180 million worldwide to a movie that did $34 million worldwide? [boxofficemojo.com] ? And don't tell me to look at the budgets, granted Serenity's was less but it didn't even make it up.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the hell out of that movie, but using it to predict Watchmen's performance is a little fallacious...

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (2, Informative)

orkybash (1013349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688193)

That's 38 million, sorry for the typo.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (3, Funny)

CFTM (513264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687755)

This the sort of feature that will be able to have about 5 different DVD releases, with the niche market running out to buy every version. You can have the theatrical release, which will occur in the next few months, and about six months after that then you can have your director's cut release, and then a year after that you can have your "Ultimate Director's Edition!" which will cost 3 X as much as the Theatrical release and include inane commentary and material that was left on the cutting room floor for a reason.

The studios will be fine, they just won't make the killing that they'd like too on it!

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27687851)

This the sort of feature that will be able to have about 5 different DVD releases...

Also known as the Blade Runner effect.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (4, Informative)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687933)

There's already three announced.

You got your vanilla release, your director's cut and your director's complete cut which'll have Black Freighter interwoven with the Watchmen story.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (5, Funny)

Random_Goblin (781985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687977)

This the sort of feature that will be able to have about 5 different DVD releases, with the niche market running out to buy every version.

I for one can't wait till they release the Watchmen Babies edition... V for Vacation sounds awesome

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (5, Funny)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687827)

Fuck the studios' happiness. These are the same people who claimed to the author of FORREST GUMP that there were no net profits to share with him. You remember that bomb, doncha? Only made $330M domestic in theatres. How anybody at that studio could afford to feed a family after that disaster is beyond me. And by "family" I mean "cocaine habit."

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (5, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688019)

You think that's bad? Lucasarts is still telling David Prowse (the guy who wore the Vader suit) that Return of the Jedi still hasn't turned a profit.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688171)

Don't you mean Art Buchwald and "Coming to America"?

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (5, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687563)

You're ignoring the opportunity cost. Sure, it'll end up returning 3 times the amount it cost to make, which is a decent profit, but could the studio have spent that money making another (or two, or three other) films that would have done better? If so then Watchmen was the wrong choice. In this case would they have been better off making a couple of PG-13 films?

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (3, Funny)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687981)

"In this case would they have been better off making a couple of PG-13 films?

Don't worry, I'm sure they'll eventually make the money back off the animated series [youtube.com] :)

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687991)

I vaguely recall a stat that came out during "Titanic" mania. If you could've invested a single dollar in the production of the film, you'd have gotten about $1.03 back as return on investment. Had you invested that same dollar in the production of "The Full Monty", you've have gotten back several THOUSAND dollars in return.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687569)

I am one who rarely buys a DVD and even rare-er buys a bluray.

I will in fact be buying Watchmen. and a LOT of others I know will be as well.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (3, Interesting)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687679)

I've heard that the estimated budget was $100 million. So they've made $80 million over that ... so what is the problem exactly?

The problem is that Hollywood Execs are not looking to be successful on a scale of 'job well done', and nor should they, from their paradigm. Their paradigm is manufacturing success, through advertising, TV spots, trailers, awareness campaigns, viral marketing, celebrity whoring, and as many other nefarious tactics as they can get away with, in order to absolutely 100% guarantee a certain level of success.

Just doing alright is a failure, from that paradigm.

A success would be the biggest opening weekend of all time. And that's what we see, again and again. Look, and you will see that this record is broken by every other truly triple-A blockbuster, probably happens a couple of times a year or more.

The real sign of failure is that video games now have even bigger opening weekends - Halo 3, followed hotly by GTA 4, really showed Holywood what an opening weekend could be.

Let the whoring begin!

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688151)

You also have to look at from the perspective of "were we successful enough to whore it for sequels."

Maybe not.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (3, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687683)

I've heard that the estimated budget was $100 million. So they've made $80 million over that ... so what is the problem exactly?

Opportunity cost. $100m invested in The Watchmen can't be invested elsewhere, and if $100m invested in another movie would have given higher profits, then they didn't make as much money as they could have.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (1)

belloc1 (1118477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687855)

Maybe if they got rid of the obnoxious blue penis and pointless gore they could have made it PG-13. While they're at it they could have also shaved an hour off the running time.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688085)

Hey, if they can make a cop pour himself into a helicopter in Terminator 2, they can surely CGI-out the Penis and blood bits for a K-mart/Walmark edition.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (1)

zmnatz (1502127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688013)

This movie will definitely be a financial success consider the majority of the people that went to see it are fans. Most of them will likely buy the DVD. I have every intention of buying the directors cut regardless of price just to see the parts that were cut.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688107)

For the love of all things binary, I thought it was common knowledge that you cannot compare rated R movies to PG-13 movies. Every single Batman & Spider-man movie has been rated below R.

It's not a comparison of the movies but of the popularity of the franchises.

Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (2, Informative)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688167)

I believe with marketing, and the fact that FOX wanted their pound of flesh, it was closer to 200 million.

yes, worth it (3, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687507)

Warner Bros made money. If they make a good director's cut they will make a boat load of new money.

Re:yes, worth it (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687821)

Agreed
I enjoyed the movie. Will look for the extended cut blueray version when it comes out.
Profitable ??? ... we'll see but still a classic to have in the library

Totally worth it (1)

G4Cube (863788) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687531)

Best SF this year. Love that is was Long.

Re:Totally worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688089)

Love that is was Long.

That's what she said!

Re:Totally worth it (3, Funny)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688111)

Love that is was Long.

You mean the movie, or....?

Absolutely Worth It (3, Insightful)

GMonkeyLouie (1372035) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687547)

Totally worth it. A bunch of my friends who had never read Watchmen, and really aren't the reading types, made it out to see the movie and we all had a long discussion about Rorschach and the Comedian, and how much we loved Dan Dreiberg.

Movie was good, Watchmen is good to make a movie about, end of story.

Re: Absolutely Worth It (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687791)

Totally worth it. A bunch of my friends who had never read Watchmen, and really aren't the reading types, made it out to see the movie and we all had a long discussion about Rorschach and the Comedian, and how much we loved Dan Dreiberg.

Movie was good, Watchmen is good to make a movie about, end of story.

I couldn't disagree more.

An hour too long, dull and unsympathetic characters, suspension of belief overchallenged, lame ending. I don't see how anyone who wasn't already a fan could have possibly enjoyed it.

Re: Absolutely Worth It (1)

anonicon (215837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687931)

I wasn't much of a fan of the book at all, but after seeing the film, the relationships between the old and new Watchmen made a lot more sense. I'll be re-reading the book because of it.

Frankly, I enjoyed it a lot. It won't end up in IMDB's all-time Top 10, but IMO it was a good movie.

Re: Absolutely Worth It (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688017)

Ditto for me. Mostly it was the absurd violence and sex that just got in the way, and I'm a big fan of violence and sex. The whole time I was thinking "seriously?". It was almost like a spoof, only it obviously wasn't intended to be. And before you go saying "Watchmen the GN had lots of violence and sex", everybody I've heard from who has read it says the movie went way over the top on the violence.

Plus, the ending sucked. Again, I was just thinking "seriously?"

LOL at Soundtrack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27687553)

The soundtrack was like someone stole my ipod and played all the songs that were way too on the nose to be taken seriously.

Cool music.. just made the movie wierd.

Re:LOL at Soundtrack (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687711)

"Hallelujah" was too generic for a love scene with masked heroes. They missed a chance to use a truly weird song which would have, nonetheless, fit the scene perfectly with a little editing: the Aphex Twin remix of David Bowie's "Heroes" [youtube.com] .

You couldn't write a song with more appropriate lyrics, and the disjointed and apocalyptic remix fits the movie perfectly.

Re:LOL at Soundtrack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688199)

Ugh, that was awful. It was like listening to a Batman soundtrack with a "street philosopher" talking to a herd of cats in heat in the background.

Only saw the movie (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687567)

But I greatly enjoyed it, felt it resonate with me and felt better for having seen it.

More to the point, what are its knock-on effects? (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687585)

It was argued that movies like TDK showed that a darker, more serious summer movie could fill seats and rake in cash, and likewise a few years ago The Matrix Reloaded was making money hand over fist long after the hype train was derailed, in spite of an R rating and a relatively cerebral (most would say pretentiously so) story. Both successes challenged conventional wisdom about the summer blockbuster and probably opened the door for Watchmen to a degree.* I worry that Watchmen's unimpressive gross will convince studios to close that door again and be more conservative with content and tone on their big-ticket movies. Where then for Iron Man 2's mooted alcoholism subplot?

*I know Watchmen was in production by the time TDK arrived in 2008, but a lot could've been left on the cutting-room floor if the studio had seen that year's adult superhero movie flop.

Re:More to the point, what are its knock-on effect (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687701)

Please excuse the double-post of this below, I clicked away and didn't see the comment come up when I revisisted so I assumed I hadn't gone past "preview".

Re:More to the point, what are its knock-on effect (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687747)

It went away from the Hollywierd normal direction. It went where most do not, it treated the audience as educated and intelligent instead of drooling morons that scream for boobies and Michael Bay explosion fests.

I really hope that Cinema goes back to having an IQ required instead of the typical "snakes on a plane" kind of crap.

Re:More to the point, what are its knock-on effect (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687941)

Thoughtful movies have always been made and always will be made. Watchmen is just another instance, possibly a damaging one: its low attendance (sorry but it's true) renewed and justified studio policy for PG-13 superhero movies.

Anyway, good movies will keep sneaking under the radar now and then if you're looking for them. I remember seeing The Quiet American many years ago; it was near opening night, and there were about 10 other people in the theatre.

Re:More to the point, what are its knock-on effect (4, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688051)

Oh please, step down from your high horse. You just look like an ass.

There's nothing wrong with wanting an intelligent movie. I enjoy them as well. But sometimes I just want something that's just fun to watch, no matter how much the story lacks.

Re:More to the point, what are its knock-on effect (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687895)

While darker than previous Batman movies, The Dark Knight was still PG-13. Makes the target audience much, much larger. Especially amongst teens with disposable income and time to see the movie 3 times in the cinema.

Bad time for movies (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687591)

Has it, bluntly, been worth the gamble, expense and hassle? "

It's not worth the gamble, expense, and hassle to go see a movie in the theater any more. Speaking as part of the core audience for this movie (as in, I actually own the graphic novel) there is no fucking way that I'll go to a theater to see much of anything any more. I actually found it cheaper to buy an HDTV than to go to the movies once a month for a year. Unfortunately for the Blu-Ray wankers, I also find that an upconverted DVD looks fucking fantastic. If I were the kind of person who paused stills so that I could bitch about compression artifacting maybe I would feel differently. Finally, I find that I rewatch movies less and less these days, so I won't buy the movie on any form of media. At this point it looks like I'll be renting a DVD from Netflix.

The distributors have been ratcheting up the price of getting the print in your movie theater to the point where diminishing returns are in full effect. My understanding is that pretty much none of the ticket price typically goes to a theater. For the price of two people going to see the movie, you can buy the DVD. Or better yet, get netflix for a month. If they want asses in theater seats, they're going to have to drop the cost to the theater. And if they want people to spread buzz about their movies, they're going to need those asses in those seats. The movie industry is going to slaughter itself, and it can't happen soon enough for me — not because I want less movies to be produced, but because I think that moviestars have too much influence in our culture.

Re:Bad time for movies (0)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687657)

I actually found it cheaper to buy an HDTV than to go to the movies once a month for a year.

You are doing something horribly wrong. Cost of going to the movies once a month for a year: $100, tops. Cost of an HDTV: $300+.

Re:Bad time for movies (3, Informative)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687799)

I don't know what city you live in, but $8.33 for a movie is unheard of where I am. You're looking at around $10 for a ticket. That's $240 for a year of movie tickets for two people. Throw in gas and an occasional soda, popcorn, or snack at theater and you've easily paid for that $300 TV.

Re:Bad time for movies (0, Offtopic)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687937)

He didn't specify more than one person, so the sensible assumption is one person.

Re:Bad time for movies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688071)

He didn't specify more than one person, so the sensible assumption is one person.

Did you miss "For the price of two people going to see the movie"? But yes. This is slashdot so expecting any to have a date for the movies is ... well... you know :)

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687985)

$10! Where do you live? Here it's easily $12 or $15 once you figure in the taxes. The drinks are $5 for a small, $7 for a medium and $9 for a large. A 'movie meal' (large drink with popcorn or nachos) is $15.

Re:Bad time for movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688007)

Yeah but what will you watch on your tv? You would need a Blu-Ray player or High definition cable feeds, all that cost more money...often times more than your tv.

Or you could watch what little comes OTA...

Re:Bad time for movies (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687803)

12 matinee tickets at $6 a pop is $72. For 2 people, that's $144. For 3 people, it is $216.

Insist on some snacks and you can easily add $50 per person (this can vary wildly, carry in a can of pop and some jelly beans and you are talking about less than $10).

If you are paying less than $6 per show, you aren't in the majority.

Re:Bad time for movies (2, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687883)

A movie here is $10, per person. That doesn't include the cost of transportation, or the grossly overpriced food/drinks (not that I buy those anymore).

So if you go to 10 movies a year, alone, and walk? Sure. For me, it'd be more like $200, easily. The TV suddenly looks more competitive, since can show a lot more then 10 movies a year.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687887)

Price for a flick here in Canada 2 Adults - say $8.50 each. s0 $17.50 Popcorn and a Drink for 2 adults: $20 (and I am estimating it very conservatively I think). So call it on the order of $35+, or $420+ for 12 movies. I see on average about 4 movies a year I think. The only reason is the completely outrageous cost of going. The reason for that cost? Well, admittedly its the concessions stand rates, but going to a movie and eating popcorn are more or less synonymous to me, so there has to be popcorn. The reason the popcorn and a drink costs so fucking much, because the distributor is taking 80%+ of the ticket sales, perhaps all of it.

Re:Bad time for movies (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688139)

People with actual brainwaves just time a movie visit to be after a meal, or they sneak in their own snacks.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

anonymousbob22 (1320281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687947)

Yes, but OP can watch DVDs whenever they want on their TV.

In addition, you know, to the stuff you usually do with a TV, like channel-surfing.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

Calithulu (1487963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687983)

Sure... but the cost of going to the movies as often as I watch something on my HDTV in HD, or use it as a monitor for my computer, or use it as a monitor for gaming, or use it to watch movies would certainly be more expensive than renting a seat for all of those things.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688083)

I think your math is off. It's more than $100. Of course, a GOOD HDTV, not your 20" special will be at least a grand. Given those numbers, I can afford to go to the movies every week ($13 for two tickets) and still be under a grand.

Not that there's anything wrong with the HDTV and home theather, but theres something to be said for leaving your house now and then, and provided you get a good audience, it's more fun to watch the movie in a theater than at home.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688165)

My math was a bit off, cause I was calculating for 10 movies, not 12. But even so, it's $120, tops, to go to the movies every week for a year. It'll probably be less than that... I know in my town I can go to a matinee for $6, which means a total cost of only $72.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

agrippa_cash (590103) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688135)

In LA tickets are about $10 or so, so you're at $120 just going to a completely run of the mill theater. At the Arclight it is $13 or $14, then there is parking, popcorn, drinks. $300 isn't implausible.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687889)

Try going to matinees, like the first matinee of the day on a Monday or something. They are generally much cheaper and there is just a smattering of people, if anyone at all. So it's almost like a private showing for you and your friends.

In fact, I'm going to see Observe and Report today at 12:30 pm, and it will only cost $7.75.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688129)

Ya, I'm going to waste my vacation time just to go to a movie. It's not worth it, and $13 for two tickets I beat even your matinee price, and can go at a much more preferable time.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687901)

I actually found it cheaper to buy an HDTV than to go to the movies once a month for a year.

Math fail.

Unfortunately for the Blu-Ray wankers, I also find that an upconverted DVD looks fucking fantastic.

Hey, I don't doubt that a Blu-Ray is indistinguishable from an upscaled DVD if you did truly spend only $120 on it (the cost to go to the movies once a month for a year). Now if your HDTV is bigger than 9 inches, you might be able to see the difference.

The movie industry is going to slaughter itself, and it can't happen soon enough for me -- not because I want less movies to be produced,

Dream on. Movie attendance is still a lot higher than it was in the 80's and 90's. It's a cheap date, especially for those too young to drive. The movie theater isn't going anywhere.

Re:Bad time for movies (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687955)

The movie industry is going to slaughter itself, and it can't happen soon enough for me -- not because I want less movies to be produced, but because I think that moviestars have too much influence in our culture.

After the rest of your quite cogent argument, this one strikes me as a total non-sequitur.

How much influence do you think movie stars have over the cost of a theatre ticket? Only a handful call any kind of shots, and even those are subject - entirely - to the whims of the players in the industry.

Celebrity culture is a major irritation, don't get me wrong. But those glossy idiots are just puppets, held on a string and doted on with a somewhat generous allowance.

Re:Bad time for movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688137)

Fortunately, for Watchmen its real money spinner is yet to come. Not for nothing do many describe the theatrical release of a film as the trailer for the DVD, and it's in the DVD and Blu-ray markets where Warner Bros is surely expecting Watchmen to recover and bring home some added bacon. It's likely to do so, too. Furthermore, it's a film that's going to have legs for many years on the home market, and Warner Bros will no doubt keenly exploit it with special and collectors' editions en masse over the coming decade or so. Watchmen will not, when the final numbers are totted up, be a business failure for the studio.

I agree - first, the cost of a movie is getting way too high compared to its value. The numbers may be skewed by the fact that box office is becoming less relevant and disc more so.

However, the problem still remains - you see discs of this and that on DVD in bins for $3.99, $5.99 and $9.99 and you ahve to wonder what makes a disc worth $23.99; and when there's not much difference between upscaled DVD and blurray, why spend the extra? (Their biggest mistake - no 2160P or higher!! Can't wait to see "upscaled Blurray" in about 5 years on my 4320P)

The other turn-off id the constant flood of new versions. Sorry, I fell for that with LOTR; but I'm not going to buy the new version of Blade Runner, Brazil, disney animation (the owrst! Now available "for the first time" in "platimum DVD set".)

This is the problem; those of us with a love of audio-visual and a long memory (boomers) have built our collection. Casablanca or Raiders of the Lost Arc or Spartacus - sorry, I spent my money already, it would have to be some something amazing for me to buy it again. Aint gonna happen. Same problem with DVDs as CDs. the makers misread people rebuilding their collection as on-going sales. Now, I can get anything I want on DVD, I've bought what I wanted, I will spend my money on other things.

At least Hollywood, unlike the music industry, still pumps out stuff I may want to see.

As for stars; I think it's indicative that we can have movies like "Slumdog Millionaire", like "Crash", etc. where special effects and big budgets are not what it's all about. The classics of the B&W era were shot on small stages with painfully small budgets. Even Star Wars was budgetted for $7M (and cost $9M) before Superman went and paid Brando $1M for a one-minute appearance. Maybe slumping sales will be the perfect thing to bring sanity to Hollywood. (Sanity to Hollywood? What are the odds?)

Well, they're getting their money out of me. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687615)

Saw it in Imax, and I'm sure it'll be on my xmas list in Blu-ray. I honestly don't know how it would play to someone who hasn't read the original, but I enjoyed it with relatively minor quibbles. I'm kind of curious about the stuff that didn't make it in.

Re:Well, they're getting their money out of me. (3, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687761)

Silly Dr. Manhattan. You could've just remembered you watching it in the future, and not bothered going. Except then you wouldn't have seen it, so you'd have to go, and then you would have seen it, so you don't have to go and...

Re:Well, they're getting their money out of me. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687835)

We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet who can see the strings.

Wow (4, Funny)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687619)

Talk about scraping the bottom for story submissions. Are we going to start getting updates to see whether Marley & Me was worth it too?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27687763)

Yes Marley & Me was worth it. I cried and I'm posting as AC to say that.

My dad saw it with my mom. HE cried. If you knew my dad, this is an accomplishment.

Re:Wow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27687961)

Tears of boredom?

Re:Wow (1)

MosX (773406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688045)

Why does the ability to make you cry make a movie good?

Re:Wow (1)

Rageon (522706) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688093)

If you like dogs - yes.

If you hate dogs - no.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27687767)

Why, did you take your mom to see it?

most definitely. (1)

ohmiez (1539439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687635)

they already made a ton of movie and with the 190 minute directors cut hitting shelves in july they are gonna make a ton more.

In short, as of now, NO (1)

davebarnes (158106) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687651)

BoxOfficeMojo.com says it cost $150M.
It has done $190M worldwide.
$300M+ would be breakeven.

The author nailed it on this one. (2, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687659)

This movie is going to shine on the home movie market â" for one really good reason. It's a move a lot of us geek men love but not really one to take a date to. (sure, some of you have that type of woman, but face it, those are a rare type) The guys who had to miss the theatrical release because they didn't want to go to the movies alone because that's just lame are going to buy the DVD, because you can watch that alone, and you have have your to cheap to buy a movie ticket friends watch it with you. (BTW â" I watched it alone, after work, I got off of work at 11:00 PM)

The theatre I usually go to in Baton Rouge had a sign clearly displayed saying have your ID ready for Watchmen, we will be checking. I don't know how many theaters checked ID's nation wide, but face it, it's easier for under aged comic fans to buy a DVD than it is to get into an R-rated movie in some places. Granted in some other places it's the opposite, but never mind that.

Let's not forget, some movies just shine on DVD anyways. Who here honestly watched Office Space in the theatre when it premiered? Everyone saw the home release! (I think it went back to the theaters once, but I'm not certain) Tarintino movies, how many did you see in the box office? Probably more at home than in a theatre seat. I wouldn't be surprised if the home release take rivals the theatrical take.

Re:The author nailed it on this one. (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687959)

I mostly agree with you, but Tarantino movies are a bad example. Those movies are made for the theater, especially Grindhouse.

Amd what knock-on effects? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687663)

The success of The Matrix Reloaded and TDK challenged conventional wisdom about the tone (character-led, cerebral, and dark) and content (R-rated) that a big-budget movie could have and still draw the crowds, arguably opening the door to the Watchmen we saw in theatres. Had TDK flopped, I suspect Watchmen would've gone back for reshoots or had heavy cuts. Watchmen's own flop is likely to justify conventional wisdom to movie executives, closing that door and leading to more conservative production in future. What then for Iron Man 2's mooted alcoholism subplot?

No mods please (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687715)

This is just a repost of my comment up above, I thought I'd not posted it correctly.

In a word, no (1)

brucmack (572780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687669)

Any time a film makes back less than its budget in domestic gross, it's considered a commercial failure by the studios. It's close enough that they'll probably get past the break even point once DVD sales kick in, but it's by no means a success.

This isn't really a surprise to me. I had no connection to the source material, so I had no built-in excitement about the film. The reviews were mixed when it opened, so I skipped it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way, though I may be in the minority here...

DVD sales (1)

mknewman (557587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687697)

I'll buy the extended edit DVD that's coming out this summer. I wasn't crazy about the "book" but liked the movie. I was disappointed that they chose to change the ending, but thought they did a fine job of it.

it was a commentary on a long running debate: (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687713)

that moviemakers gut the mythology of a work in order to bring it onto screen

they didn't do that here

sure, they got rid of the squid, but peter jackson also got rid of mr. bombadil from lotr and no one seems to give him that much flak for that. both the squid and mr. bombadil are kind of completely out of context of the stories they inhabit, so really, no big deal

obviously, the filmmakers, directors, writers: they had passion for the work. but that's actually the source of the criticism they get: that it was TOO committed to the material. the issue was that they made the movie a slavish devotion to a frame-by-frame reading of the material, which was a herculean task, and also mostly successful, but only on that measure

and yet they get flak for it: that it was hollow, eeriely emotionally empty for being a frame-by-frame remake. that's been the substance of a lot of critical reviews

the lesson: you can't satisfy everyone. if you are adopting a major literary work to film, just go with your gut, be prepared to piss off the fanboy fundamentalists, and be prepared to go over the heads of a lot of the audience. because if you pander too much to the fanbots or the general public, you either water down what makes the material great, or you make a cult movie that you will still be hypercriticized for, because, in the end, there just is no satisfying the fundamentalist fanboys

the best anyone can do is hope for success like peter jackson and lotr. he's pretty much the gold standard now for adapting much loved literary works to screen. meanwhile, watchmen was received lukewarm critical, and lukewarm popular

so the final commentary is: meh, its ok, whatever

forget profitability (1)

jacktherobot (1538645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687729)

Many of the greatest films of all time wouldn't have been made if the people involved were worried about profitability. That being said, I feel that Watchmen is as worthy an addition to the cinematic medium as the novel was to print.

Character development needed (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687781)

There was a significant amount of back story missing from the movie. I did not read the graphic novels or any of that stuff and instead watched it without any previous knowledge or experience. There was quite a curve to overcome with regards to character development and the background stories. While most things were answered in some way eventually, the flow was still more confusing than it needed to be and they should have realized that prior to opening day. It wasn't just another "super hero" movie.

What SHOULD they have done? Easy -- release and play some mini episodes that show off the characters in their glory days while promoting the movie itself. This would have built more enthusiasm for the movie and would have given viewers who would not have otherwise been familiar with the characters a greater level of comfort and more ease getting into the story. This could also have resulted in better story development without having to flash back too much.

Re:Character development needed (4, Interesting)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688033)

I did not read the graphic novels or any of that stuff and instead watched it without any previous knowledge or experience. There was quite a curve to overcome with regards to character development and the background stories.

While reading the graphic novel... it takes a long time to truly figure out who the characters are and what their motivations are. The story benefits by keeping you guessing while they investigate and dig deeper into the crime. I imagine introducing Rorsach as the "just-the-fact idealistic investigator" and Dr. Manhattan as the "emotionless super genius" would have taken something away from the story.

Caveat emptor... I read the novel and still haven't seen the movie.

For art, or money? (1)

dollar99 (922389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687837)

It's fairly easy to boil down the numbers as to whether or not the movie was financially worth it, but was the movie artistically worth it? Considering the writer of the original award winning graphic novel wants nothing to do with the movie, and the unlikelihood of the Watchmen movie winning any artistic awards, I don't think this movie was artistically worth it.

Measure up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27687877)

After watching over 2 1/2 hours of blue superhero cock, I don't think I ever want to see the words "Watchmen" and "measure up" in the same sentence again.

Why are you asking us ? (2, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687879)

Has it, bluntly, been worth the gamble, expense and hassle?

Bluntly, it's not my money, or my time, or my movie, so why are you asking me if it was worth it ?

It would be cool if the producers read slashdot, but I doubt it.

~ 150% return of investment (0)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687969)

Are you kidding me. Doing my little research (about 2 minutes), I go to Wikipedia and check out the summary box on the right side of the article, which says: Budget: $120 million, Gross revenue: $180,112,419 . With a quick calculation I get 150.08 % return of investment. A normal economic person would probably tell it was worth it. Now what was the question again?

Re:~ 150% return of investment (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688131)

Studio math rule: movies don't actually break even until the revenue is double the budget.

And then you start getting into bizzare math that makes films like Forrest Gump and Return of the Jedi not turn a profit even 15, 30+ years after their release.

Re:~ 150% return of investment (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688197)

"Gross" is how much raw cash came in to theatres themselves. "Budget" is how much was spent on the production itself. Those are the opposite ends of a very long distribution chain, and cinema has developed an efficient system for soaking up money in its way from box office to producer.

Good and bad (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687971)

They did what I feared they would; they turned it into a superhero movie.

Because of time limitations they had to cut parts, and of course the parts they cut are all the non-action scenes which set 75% of the mood. The newstand? The Tales of the Black Freighter? Long developed characters and interactions that drive home points a little more involved that BIFF! and POW!

And don't get me started on how they completely removed the alien and inserted a bomb instead. Ugh.

Re:Good and bad (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688035)

The more I think about it the less I like it. There was practically zero character development. In the comic each and every mask is real. No matter how flat they may seem on the surface, they have rich pasts and experiences. The movie barely scratches the surface of the Comedian, Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias, Silk Spectre, etc.

It was worth it --to me. (1)

InsertCleverUsername (950130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687989)

I wanted to see it translated to the big screen. I still like the comic better, but they did an amazing job on the film and I absolutely enjoyed it. I'll be buying the DVD too.

When did money become the primary criteria for determining the merit of an artistic project? Sheesh, what a stupid society we live in.

C.R.E.A.M. (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688067)

When did money become the primary criteria for determining the merit of an artistic project? Sheesh, what a capitalist society we live in.

Fixed that for you.

Meh I say! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27688015)

I've never read the comic book, but the movie felt like they took a LOTR trilogy worth of material and crammed it into one long obnoxious bundle that never really developed any of the really interesting parts of the story. Instead of the points, humor, and world detail I am guessing the author wanted to convey in the source material, we got a naked blue guys junk all over the screen and some unpleasant gore scenes. This was the first time I have ever have wished a movie was PG-13 instead of R.

Most likely once the DVD and eventual extended directors deluxe action figure edition are released, it will make enough money to validate the investment.

What is funny is that a big study is never going to ask "did we make a great movie" or "did we do the source material justice", it's all "will we make a profit. I have no problem with them making a profit, but I would love to see more focus on the quality of the movie than the FX budget and schedule.

Just my anonymous and cowardly 10 cents.

Re:Meh I say! (5, Interesting)

MosX (773406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688103)

I find it funny how much a penis really bothers people.

I loved it. (2, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688027)

Made my wife sick to her stomach.

I loved it. I'll catch it on HBO like 6 times...

Re:I loved it. (1)

Rageon (522706) | more than 5 years ago | (#27688147)

Same here. I enjoyed it, while my wife decided the last 20 minutes would be a good time to go make some phone calls.
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