spray paint, chase, tackle, fight, scuffle, truce, The Paper

Discussion (34) ¬

  1. WG

    Hey, long time reader first time commenter:)

    I haven’t seen Watchmen. And honestly, I don’t think I will, I may rent it when it comes out on DVD. I have never read the comic book either, and I thought the previews for the movie were kind of boring, epic, but boring. That’s probably just me though. Though I have heard amazing things about the comic book, but when you take a comic book to the big screen, I think that it’s okay to deviate from the story a bit to maybe move things along a little better, that maybe perhaps the original writer never thought of.

    For the screenwriter to be begging people to go see it again this weekend is rather pathetic though. I think he may be overestimating the size of the comic book community. Granted, I know that it is a rather large, but if you aren’t bringing in the comic book nerds as much as you’d like to at the movies. Then in my opinion you have done something wrong with your movie. This particular comic is rated on TIME’s 100 Greatest All-Time Novels, it’s going to be hard to create a movie with those kind of expectations. I understand the complaint of other movies not following the source material, but those movies do tremendous at the box office it seems like, not all the time of course though.

    Maybe I will check out the comic book first, and then check out the movie and form an opinion from that. Or should I see the movie first and get the gist of the story and then check out the more in depth version of the story with the comic book? I’m thinking that if I see the movie first, I can see it with a non-bias eye, having never read the source material.

  2. David

    I agree full heartedly. also, I agree with your review of Watchmen from a few days ago. All in all, the theatrical version is a bit of a mockery of Watchmen, and while Snyder got the visuals down pretty well, he missed the point of the book.

    Here’s to waiting for the directors cut. perhaps Rorschach backstory is done better and the movie is overall more complete.

  3. KR

    I’m not trying to be pro or anti-Watchmen: the movie, but wasn’t the $70 million dollar projection just setting the movie up for failure? I remember hearing you guys say in the Triple Feature that its $56 million opening was the 6th highest opening for an R-rated movie of all time. So wouldn’t a $70 million be the highest or 2nd highest, somewhere in that range? It seems unfair to expect a movie to have one of the highest openings for an R-rated movie of all time, and then decry it a failure when it does – but not as high as some people expected.

  4. Manda

    I don’t think Watchmen will make it’s money back until foreign box-office and DVD releases are included (if even then) just because they did have SO many expenses for this movie; everything you mentioned, plus all the legal fees and whatever settlement WB will have to pay Fox for that little snafu over the rights to Watchmen. (BTW: does anyone know what the actual settlement between them was? I missed that.) It seems awful risky to make a movie with that much debt, especially one whose audience has been so unsure about it from the beginning; that’s pretty unusual for most production companies now a days.

  5. Tom

    KR, I don’t think we’re trying to set the film up to fail. We were only reporting what the projections were.

    I don’t know the exact formula for box office projections, but the widely reported estimate was $70 million for the opening weekend based on polling of individuals who categorized Watchmen as “must see” or “definite interest”. From there, they attempt to trend word of mouth based on the positive expectations of those first two groups. What ended up happening is that a percentage of the people who went in excited about Watchmen ended up disappointed and poor word of mouth dissuaded others from seeing it.

    I also don’t think because the movie is rated R it precludes it from doing big business. Look at all the advertising and marketing muscle that went into this movie. It should have done better.

    Watchmen earned $24M last Friday and $18M last Saturday. Most movies with positive buzz trend up on Saturday before dropping off on Sunday. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, for example, opened with $8M on Friday and went to $13M on Saturday due to positive word of mouth.

  6. Dan Walker
    Dan Walker

    I won’t be seeing Watchmen a second time in theatres for one simple reason: I live too far away from one. I caught it on a rare trip to a city with one, and that was nice, but I’m not going to spend all that time and money again just to see the same movie a week later…maybe to see the first half of Taken, but that’s Daylight Savings Time’s fault.
    Still, if I lived closer to a theater (within half an hour would be nice), and had some friends who wanted to see it, I’d be all for it. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read Watchmen first (contrary to what all these reviews I read keep saying about how you need to read the graphic novel to “fully appreciate” the movie, most seem to turn around and say “it wasn’t the book, so I’m a bit disappointed”), maybe it’s because it was about what I was expecting from the movie. Also, the sex scenes reminded me of the ones in History of Violence (which I thought were nowhere near as effective in their demonstration of whatever they were trying to show), except they were intentionally funny, something to entertain you in the midst of all this dark, gritty bleakness.
    Finally (since I evidently want to write a novel with my comments), I have to agree that Hayter’s pleas are a little pathetic. I know the movie needs much better attendance lest it up in the Grindhouse pen (oh, how I wish that that’d done better), but I think one of the things that can really be questioned is this: How much money should you expect for a movie released in March? Iron Man and Dark Knight both made a ton of money, but both came out in the summer blockbuster period. Maybe it’s a matter of timing…maybe I’m completely wrong. I’ll concede to either, really.

  7. GameUJosh

    I think that the movie being rated R does hurt the flick, mostly because the people who REALLY get into the comic are 15-17 year old kids going through their “The world sucks” phase. And, sure, they carry their love of the book into adulthood, but that’s when it first captures their imagination.

  8. Avi

    General audiences won’t like Watchmen – because of the ending, and the choice the heroes make. In The Dark Knight, the ferries don’t blow each other up. This is the most crucial point of the film – good defeats evil, even though Dent dies and Batman has to take the blame, Gotham is not irredeemable. There are tons of very obvious reasons why Watchmen won’t do as good as the Dark Knight or Iron Man. For example, it’s R-rated.

    • Tom

      Avi – I agree, there are several contributing factors to Watchmen’s bankability. What I’m saying is that it’s irresponsible for Hayter to hinge the success of the film on fans of the comic book genre because when those limitations prevent the movie from being a comparative success to Dark Knight or Iron Man, studios are going to look at the numbers and say “Well, I guess there isn’t an audience for comic book movies” anymore.

      Whereas if Watchmen were left to it’s own devices and failed without Hayter’s appeal, I think studios would look at critical response and say “Well, it was just too divisive. We missed the boat on this one. Let’s try again with Ant Man!”

      …or whatever.

  9. Hákon Þ
    Hákon Þ

    “Fox will not be an active distributor of the pic, but will receive up to 8 1/2% gross participation in the pic, and a piece of everything going forward including a sequel or spinoff, and a cash payment upfront including recoupment of its development costs and attorney fees, and god-only-knows what else. Because neither Fox nor Warner Bros would comment on the terms. But Legendary Pictures already owns a chunk of Watchmen. So cutting Fox in now as another partner really plays havoc with Warner Bros’ economics on the movie. Studios hate when that happens.”
    Taken from [url=http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/finallyfox-warner-paramount-reach-watchmen-settlement/]Nikki Finke’s site[/url]

    I don’t really have a say on the whole Watchmen phenom, the trailers looked spiffy but as a whole I wasn’t interested, nor have I been interested in the graphic novel. I, however, wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed the comics this past week, after what I thought was Jimmy’s dull backstory and tragedy (It’s my opinion, I still love pretty much all of your comics!).

  10. Orpheus

    For my part, I kind of agree with what Hayter is saying, but I think he simply comes across as overzealous. Yes, if we don’t go support movies that at least attempt to have half a brain, then we’re dooming ourselves to more mindless crap. At the same time, you can’t just tell the fans to treat Watchmen the way many of them treated Star Wars or Lord of the Rings (seeing it 10 or 15 times for the sake of seeing it 10 or 15 times). It’s one thing for a movie to become a hit, it’s entirely another to try and engineer a hit. Watchmen isn’t a hit. It’ll do alright for itself, but no amount of preaching to the converted is going to garner it any additional money.

    Having said that, I’ll probably be seeing Watchmen again this weekend. Last weekend I went with a group of friends, but the experience was more about “let’s all hang out at the movies” than actually watching/paying attention to the film. I don’t feel like I really got to absorb it all the way I should have.

  11. KR

    I think the main way the R rating hurt the movie was in the number of theaters it opened in. Iron Man and The Dark Knight were both far better movies, but they also opened in 500 and 700 more theaters, respectively. If you project Watchmen’s $15,000 per theater average out to include those (not too unreasonable, I don’t think) it ends up with $63 million or $66 million in the opening weekend. Still not up to those projections, but not as big of a failure.

    Btw, thanks for educating me on how those projections were made. I had no idea. I’m coming around to your way of thinking, although I might be looking into what an average R-rated film makes on a per theater basis. Also – big fan, I’ve been reading the comic since I was in college, and that was over 6 years ago!

    • Tom

      KR – Good point on the per-screen average. That’s certainly something to keep in perspective. But, at the same time, if it were on more screens, projections would have been higher as well. Of course, to be on more screens, runtime needed to be shorter. Then again, Dark Knight was the same running time and theaters accommodated it in the middle of summer blockbuster season there. So many factors!

      Thanks, too, for your compliments on the strip! I’m amazed I’ve been able to hang on to you for 6 years! 😀

  12. Jon

    When I heard this, I found it funny that David Hayter was the one saying this, because the script, in my opinion, was the weakest part of the movie. None of the dialogue was believable, some was cringe-worthy, and a few lines made me want to leave the theater. After this appeal, I’m hoping business doesn’t pick up, because I don’t want another movie like “Watchmen” made.

  13. Tony II
    Tony II

    I already saw Watchmen twice. I’ll be going for a third time on Tuesday. What I don’t think people get is that some people don’t want or need a new and different Watchmen story. It’s not a franchise that can be expanded upon, or have new stories told within it. It was meant to be self contained. The fact that Snyder is “too faithful to the source material” is the reason I love it. It’s all that I, and many others, were counting on him to do. You can say, well it underperformed, but what do you expect from a Winter release that comes after Oscar season? There is a reason it opened against no other competition. Good, or extremely profitable movies, if you prefer, tend to wait to come out as summer blockbusters, or to all crowd in before Oscar season. Given that that is the trend to which the American movie goer is adapted, how much money could it ever really have made? With all that being said, I’m going back to see it for a third time soon, which will bring the total number of Watchmen tickets I have bought up to 6. Not because some d-bag screenwriter says I have an obligation to. But because I liked it. It was the movie that I wanted to see, and to me it was an unproarious success. That’s all I care about.

  14. KR

    Tom, I was wondering if you know of any good websites or magazines where movie statistics are being researched. I was just thinking about this and comparing it to football statistics (this may not be the best website for a football analogy, but hey, here goes).

    So, originally, a running back in football would be measured based on how many yards he got per game. This links up in my mind with total gross for a movie. 100 yards per game was considered fantastic. Then people got to thinking, well, is it really all that impressive if it takes him 30 carries to get 100 yards? Isn’t a guy who gets 100 yards with 25, or 20 carries better?

    Then people started tracking yards per carry, and 4.0 y/c became the standard by which a back was considered good. This sounds like avg. gross / theater to me. But then you get guys like DeShaun Foster a couple years back (sorry, I’m a Panthers fan), who averaged 4.0 y/c or higher from 2004-2006, but the stats were thrown off by his having 1 or 2 long carries per game. Really, he was a mediocrity. Since you said Watchmen did very well on Friday night, then dropped off Saturday, it seems like that would create the same kind of statistical inflation for the avg. gross / theater. I imagine Spider-Man 3 had a similar run.

    Sorry for the GIGANTIC comment, I kind of got caught up in it. Anyway, does anybody know of a site better than boxofficemojo for this kind of analysis?

  15. Jimmy Russell
    Jimmy Russell

    I saw Watchemn at 3:30 in the morning after I got off of work and loved it. I wasn’t expecting the book, but rather a Watchmen movie version of the book and I got exactly what I expected. I was worried at the time of the showing because I hadn’t bought my ticket in advance and I remember all the hype around the last midnight-ish showing I attended, The Dark Knight. That being said…Watchmen is not The Dark Knight. Snyder is not Nolan. Crudup’s big blue wang is not Heath Ledger. I knew then looking at the 20 some odd people in the IMAX theater with me that this film wasn’t going to be the big hit people wanted.

    Also, I really wish I could see Snyder adapt a comic book without using the slow motion technique a billion times in it. Argh. It was annoying in 300 and it got worse with Watchmen.

  16. Jack

    Personally I think this dude just wants a bigger paycheck.

  17. Alexander Burns

    I would like to see it again, if I can get a chance. For one, the screen I saw it on wasn’t DLP, which I felt hurt the effects some. But mostly I’m still trying to figure out if I liked the movie or not.

  18. Joe Decker
    Joe Decker

    hahahaha this made me literally laugh out loud

  19. as3ad

    Really like the comic today, big fan of the visual gags and the last 2 panels are great, they hark back to the old printed strips. However I hope you wont mind just one point of criticism but in the 4th panel there’s something odd about Tom’s leg. It seems to bend unaturally over his head and kick Jared on the back of his.
    Probably just me but there’s just something strange about it.
    Love the site though^_^

  20. Thomas

    The major difficulty between comparing Watchmen to last years Dark Knight and Iron Man is that they are two separate things and as such completely different.
    Watchmen was a one shot graphic novel. It exists alone in a world created out of our own just for it. The book was written as just that and the film is an adaptation of the (one shot) book. Iron Man and Dark Knight were reinvention’s of the long established characters for the cinema, as such they were 100% original screen plays that no one had seen before.
    To see Watchmen you just have to buy the book (that has been out for more than two decades and considered one of the 100 books you must own). No wonder takings are predicted to be down this weekend. Everyone knows the plot and its simple curiosity as to how it was pulled off that had the box office to what it was.
    That and Jon’s full frontal nudity.

  21. Lando

    I will watch it again this weekend but not because of Hayter. I honestly don’t know what ti think of the movie. I walked out liking the movie but a few days later I found myself hating it. Now I’m just confused. I’m hoping a second viewing will clear everything up for me.

  22. totalmoviefreak

    Your really tired of writing dialogue aren’t you.


  23. Donny Drama
    Donny Drama

    Seeing it again this weekend and then probably one more time on IMAX in Denver before I fly out for Emerald City Comic Con. But no his letter has no effect on my decisions. Watchmen is one of my favorite stories of all time so seeing it so closely followed on screen is just an awesome experience worth seeing multiple times.

  24. Brian Godsoe
    Brian Godsoe

    I’ll be seeing it again with my father on Sunday. It’s something I’ve planned to do since the first viewing and has nothing to do with Hayter’s “call to arms”. In fact I think Watchmen will end up being exactly what I thought it would be from the beginning, a cult film. In fact the only thing that worries me about Watchmen under preforming is that the WB execs might think it’s not worth it to release the director’s cut of the film.

  25. Nolan Halliday
    Nolan Halliday

    I think the very best visual gag here has to be that Tom is in fact reading”The Paper”, i’m not sure why but that made me spit chocolate milk out my nose

  26. Jonny Orleans
    Jonny Orleans

    The movie basically removes the entire purpose behind the story: a morality play that shows each character and their development and their views on the world and how they react to the plan. Also, the German accent on Ozymandias was just insulting and to dumb it down to such a base good guy/bad guy paradigm removes any brains that was left from the original story. There were also a lot of cosmetic changes made to the movie that were simply just the writers wishing to make their own movie. It doesn’t have brains, it doesn’t have balls. It’s like as if the movie was made in the 80s with a focus on gore and violence (examples: toxic guy in robocop, blood vomiting bed in nightmare on elm street) over any kind of plot development. The story jumps from point to point but in a non-sequitur fashion. And the monologues that really gave the novel its heart and emotional impact were neutered, in Rorscharch’s case, frankensteined together to be able to fit in excessive action scenes. I want my money back from the first time I went to the theater to see this sh**; f**Kpaying a second time for it.

  27. Jonny Orleans
    Jonny Orleans

    And Tom speaking of standing: I stood up…and walked out of the theater on Watchmen. And I’ve never done that before…not even with Hitchhiker’s Guide which was a butchering of the original storyline but kept the spirit and nature of the books in place. The Watchmen movie is more like someone else’s movie with Watchmen characters and dialog pasted in.

  28. Haase

    In my opinion, it’s unfair to compare Watchmen to Iron Man. Iron Man, while an excellent movie, was tailored to the masses. It was obviously created with the idea that they were making a blockbuster hit. It was RDJ with his snappy one-liners, explosions, and heavy guitar riffs. It was made to be the foundation for a successful series of movies.

    Watchmen, on the other hand, was very dialogue heavy. It is, at it’s core, a murder mystery. And while the mystery is lost in the movie due to the heavy backstory focus, it’s a very different movie, and I would say doesn’t belong in the same genre with Iron Man, Spider Man, or Dark Knight to a lesser extent.

    You wouldn’t have compared V for Vendetta to Spider-Man 2, would you? They both were derived from comic books/graphic novels. But they were vastly different, and unless you knew Moore had written a graphic novel version of V, I wager you wouldn’t ever group the two movies together.

    Yes there are a dozen people dressed up in costumes in Watchmen. But I could compare it to an old Western about vigilantes just as easily as I could compare it to Iron Man. I feel that it should be viewed as it’s own work, the same way V for Vendetta was viewed.

  29. Craig Terry

    Very Calvin and Hobbes sir, nice effect.

  30. Girkon

    Already did see it twice. Still a good view in any case. As for the letter, it’s a man pitching the merchandise. Movie making is business, even more in this age wether we like it or not. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because it sounds like he genuinely cares. In his own way of course. A good sign of one who loves their job is how they work to make it succeed. Even if they don’t need to, and more so once said product is beyond their control now. So for that I admire his enthusiasm. Even if it is a bit misguided.

    One hopes everyone here can have such enthusiasm for what they do. Even if it doesn’t necessarily change the world…..of movies anyway. I’ll concede the point that it was in bad taste, but I dunno if I feel as insulted as others. Though I guess that’s what separates the critics from the readers maybe?

  31. Vascor

    Well crap I wish I knew about this sooner

    I’ll do whatever David Hayter tells me

  32. JDiLano

    I think, that in Zach Snyder’s extreme effort to be faithful (which I am grateful for, don’t get me wrong) he didn’t allow room from him to make Watchmen, the movie. He was stuck remaking Watchmen, the comic book. The amount of dialogue in Watchmen, which would be fine for a comic book, is excessive in a movie, and placed poorly. The shots he takes are as close as possible to the comic, but wrong for a movie. Scenes are too long, and too slow. The best part of this movie, and it believe I speak for a lot of people, was the opening credits. Snyder presented the historical background in a new and interesting way.

    For me, right up to where the Ozymandias/Comedian fight started was great. You saw the McLaughlin Group on TV, a Veidt commerical, the Doomsday clock, all background material presented in a way other than how the comic presented it, because when the comic was written, the reader lived in 1985. You knew what the Cold War was like. But that little bit let the viewer know what was going on without telling him with dialogue or action. They saw what the world was like, in less than six minutes (I think). The for most of the rest of the movie, though Snyder ignored the idea that he had to recreate the book material, and simply transposed it onto the screen.

    The slow-mo and gratuitous gore and awkward sex really made it worse (I read the graphic novel, and realize there was both gore and sex in it, but not as much or as focused upon as it was in the movie), and I think without those the movie could have been vastly improved. That does not mean it would have been great, or even good. But it would have less points against it.

    As for the argument against comparing it to other superhero movies, I agree. It is not, essentially a superhero movie. The graphic novel was not really about superheroes, either. But, if we do compare it to a western, it does not compare well there either. It, to me, does not compare well with any genre of movie.

    Anyway, I probably will see it again. But not because David Hayter tells me too. Because I want to be convinced I’m wrong. I don’t think I am, but I might be. And this will close my poorly written rant.

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