Watchmen: does it change everything? Or anything?

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I think a lot of us were expecting the Watchmen movie to make an impact when it came out. I mean, it IS based off one of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time. Yet for some reason, it hasn’t done as well as people might have thought. It brought in $56 million domestically on opening weekend (55.7 to be precise), which ain’t bad, but isn’t spectacular, either. It certainly didn’t meet Warner Bros. $70.9 million expectations.

This weekend, Watchmen may only bring in $18.1 million. A big drop, but apparently consistent with Warners’ other event titles. Although some say the film’s inaccessibility and Doctor Manhattan’s “glowing phallus” is to blame (because while the world can handle boobies in their Rated R films, they can’t handle glow sticks). Which may not surprise Alan Moore at all, who has repeatedly said he doesn’t Watchmen would translate well into a film. I haven’t seen it YET, but I see his point: Watchmen was groundbreaking for comics, but perhaps not necessarily for movies. Except the ending, which even trumps Hollywood’s “the protagonist always wins (or wins… BUT THERE’S A TWIST)” cliche. Although that may have been what the audience wanted.

So is Watchmen‘s performance worrisome? A little. Yet the New York Times has just launched its “Graphic Books” Bestseller Lists. Heath Ledger actually won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as the Joker, marking the first time a comic book movie has won an Oscar for the acting.

Watchmen may not set the world on fire, but things ARE changing. They’ve been changing ever since X-Men came out in 2000 (sorry Blade: there are people to this day who STILL don’t know you were based off of a comic book). The past nine years have been incredible for comic fans. Look how far we’ve come! People around the world are loving the characters we’ve loved for years. Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man… can you believe Iron Man is practically a household name by now? In fact, I can remember being able to read comics with my head up high as early as 2001.

Besides, it’s not like Watchmen has put an end to comics being translated to film. Marvel’s got plenty more coming out to win fans over, like Thor, Iron Man 2, Captain America and of course, The Avengers.

By the way, if you liked Watchmen (the comic, the movie or both), DC’s launched this great mini-site called “After Watchmen: What’s Next?” It’s got a whole list of great titles from DC’s huge library: I recommend pretty much everything listed on there that I’ve read. Kingdom Come, Superman: Red Son, Planetary, Sandman, Batman: The Long Halloween… the list goes on. Click on the link below and have a look!

http://www.dccomics.com/sites/watchmen/?action=after_watchmen

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4 Responses to “Watchmen: does it change everything? Or anything?”

  1. spiffyithaca Says:

    So I haven’t really paid attention to box office projections for Watchmen, but I would consider the $55+ million opening weekend a big success. Why? Unless you’re a fan of the graphic novel, it certainly looks a little weird, it’s over 2.5 hours long and rated R, all things that should adversely affect the box office take. But it still made $55.7 million in its opening weekend. While it suffered a big drop off, most all movies do these days. I think you’d have to say that money wise, Watchmen is an unqualified success so far, but it’s legs will determine if they profit off the thing.

    As far as the movie goes, most non-fans have enjoyed it from what I’ve encountered. The friends that I saw it with were pretty blown away, especially by Rorschach and the action scenes involved. In terms of fans of the comics, i’ve seen a broad range from people who refuse to see the movie in principle, to those who have seen it and hate it (because it’s not long enough and skimps on some details of the comic and lacks the same emotional punch) and people, like me and David, who thought it was about as good a movie as it could have been.

    I was very impressed. The choices for characters were great, and while I may have been more upset about some of the things missing if I’d read it recently, I thought they were fine decisions for the movie. The action was intense and bloody and great, and Jackie Early Haley was unbelievable as Rorshach. He made the movie.

  2. Gokitalo Says:

    Hey, you’re the movie man, so I trust your [Goki’s Giving] judgment. I’ve heard good things about Haley’s Rorschach pretty much across the board. The others? Mixed.

    You AND David have seen it? Write a two-way review! If I watch it this week, maybe we can bump it up to three…

  3. spiffyithaca Says:

    I’ve been swamped with activity this past week and now it’s almost not worth a big time review. I’ll try and get an update up soon, where I’ll relate my thoughts on Watchmen on a grander scale (or I’ll copy and paste my last post lol).

  4. gokitalo Says:

    Haha, if you want to do that, go right ahead. Don’t worry about length. In keeping with the spirit of this blog, I’ll put it like this: “size doesn’t matter.”

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