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By Peter Oberth

Watchmen disappoints with huge opening?

Superheroes, Tyler Perry, Liam Neeson, a poor millionaire and a mall cop.  The weekend didn't exactly showcase anything new but it did still hold a few surprises.  Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail held surprisingly strong to tack on to his most successful outing yet.  The success stories of the year continued to, well, be successful.  Taken and Paul Blart: Mall Cop both moved up a spot after 6 and 8 weeks, respectively, while Slumdog Millionaire fell one.  But, the big story of the weekend was...

WATCHMEN ($55,655,000)
The "unfilmable" movie turned out to be the movie that probably shouldn't have been filmed.  After mixed reviews, the adaptation of the popular 80's graphic novel turned in what seems like a respectable opening but, once delved deeper, looks pretty disappointing.  You may be asking why a starless movie full of unknown superheroes raking in $55 mil could be deemed a failure?  First, the $150 million movie barely made over a third of it's production cost (not factoring in marketing).  Second, predictions ran as high as $80 million and upward.  Third, Zack Snyder's previous outing, 300, shocked everyone with over $70 million, setting the bar pretty high.  Fourth, the movie has been in the making for over 2 decades, making it one of the most highly anticipated movies of all time, amongst it's fans.  Fifthly (it's a word), the movie seemed to live up to expectations with a strong $25 million Friday opening, which would normally translate to a $65-75 million opening but it trailed off so heavily that it is likely set to drop 65-70% next weekend and if Race to Witch Mountain performs well, will drop it down to number 2 or lower, ultimately leaving theaters barely scratching the $125 million mark.

The full weekend box office ticked in as follows:


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


 Source: Box Office Mojo