Film Three Day Per Screen Whole Kit and Caboodle
1 Watchmen $55,655,000 $15,413 $55,655,000
2 Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail $8,800,000 (-45.6%) $4,091 $76,505,000
3 Taken $7,450,000 (-24.5%) $2,470 $118,049,000
4  Slumdog Millionaire $6,925,000 (-42.4%) $2,396 $125,441,000
5 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $4,200,000 (-25.0%) $1,642 $133,643,000
6 He’s Just Not That Into You $4,020,000 (-33.1%) $1,644 $84,647,000
7 Coraline $3,313,000 (-37.0%) $1,691 $65,680,000
8 Confessions of a Shopaholic $3,121,000 (-32.7%) $1,363 $38,356,000
9 Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience $2,785,000 (-77.7%) $2,183 $16,791,000
10 Fired Up $2,600,000 (-29.8%) $1,446 $13,360,000

This just in: A Weiner-biting pony. Look out, Scott, look out.

Okay, time for damage control on Watchmen. The film was expensive and ambitious, long and R rated. Some have called it a masterpiece, while others found the whole thing odious, juvenile, etc. It is a polarizing film, and I liked it. But I come to bury Watchmen, not to praise it. Doing $4 Million in Midnight shows and additional $21 Million on Friday, it did a little less on Saturday, while Sunday was way the eff off (note it was always going to be). Watchmen is an event picture so next weekend being off 40% is all but assured (and likely more), and while there are some who will give the film repeat viewings I don’t think that will be enough to help the film get near $150, which is likely out of reach. Even then that’s just the production cost, but with the rabid fanbase and multiple cuts, and ancillary products likely tied into production costs, (That Black Freighter animated cartoon had to have generated some dollars, right?), the film will likely find itself getting past even once the multiple home video releases have finished their run.

Warner Brothers might take the hit, but the Fox lawsuit had to have set the tone. Zack Snyder has his next film in motion, the actors, well, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Jackie Earle Haley may get more work and Malin Akerman (she skirts being the 21st Century’s Penelope Anne Miller) may get less, but this is the sort of ambitious film that directors often make after hitting one out of the park, and I’m sure everyone’s happy that it’s finally been made, and are happy now that it’s over with. It’s possible the film will do better internationally, though the text is very much about America – since it’s not entirely positive, perhaps that will play – but that’s Paramount’s terrain. What any of this has to do with quality is beyond me. When I look at these numbers, and the people who want to use these numbers to argue anything about anything, I feel exactly like Dr. Manhattan. Warner’s sold a hard-sell as well as they could. The numbers are good for that, they’re just not good enough to make this an out of the park hit. And that’s that. At the end of the day this was never that film. Maybe someone thought it would be with Snyder at the helm, but it isn’t. It’s too dense, it’s too intellectual, and not in a way with an easy through line. Few are celebrating the fact that one got through, instead a lot of critics seem happy to piss on the grave. Whatever, I think Devin’s right that this is a Velvet Underground kind of movie. It’s influence will be felt at some point.

So hey, Watchmen probably did about as well as it could, but you know what’s really been raking it in? Madea (which against all odds has held better than any Perry picture before and could crack $100), Taken and Paul Blart. It is possible Watchmen won’t make as much money as these films. Which must say something about quality, right?

Coraline is still playing, which is good news, and will crack $70, possibly more. It’s a little picture that has. I have multiple theories why The Jonas Brothers didn’t do the business Miley Cyrus did. The first is that audiences thought the MC movie was going to be a one week picture, and so they bought tickets accordingly. When it wasn’t and then they saw the film (which is surely not particularly artful), they felt burnt and so The Jonas Brothers took the hit. The second is that there are more people who would rather watch a young girl in 3-D than young boys. Make of that what you will. Slumdog continues its victory lap, may yet play to $140-150, depending on the DVD release. That’s some business. Everything else is just sort of hanging out.