Zack Snyder Talks ‘Watchmen’ Box Office & The Director’s Cut

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 3:44 pm,

Although certainly not a box office failure, Zack Snyder’s graphic novel adaptation Watchmen did perform a lot worse than people were hoping and expecting. It had a solid but not-as-good-as-it-could-have-been $55MM opening weekend, dropped by almost 70% in its second weekend, and a month later it has only made $104MM in the US ($172MM worldwide).

Was it the R-rating? The 160-plus minute runtime? The violence? The hard efforts of Snyder to keep close to the source material at every point and turn (some would say far too closely)?

We’ll never know for sure.

Recently, while accepting his 2009 Director of the Year Award at ShoWest, Snyder had the box office disappointment brought up, and gave his thoughts on how this would affect the possible theatrical release of the Director’s Cut of the film:

“The thing about Watchmen is it’s a lot of craziness. It’s a long movie, it’s rated R. Everyone is talking about Monsters vs. Aliens, which is a cool movie, comes out and makes like $58 million and everyone is like, ‘Oh my god, it’s the hugest hit ever!’ And then a R-rated movie, two and a half hours long with superheroes raping each other makes $55 million dollars and every-one’s like ‘WHAT?’ How is that possible? I’m pretty happy with the movie”

“We’re super proud of the movie, the director’s cut is coming soon. So in July you’ll get to see more ‘Watchmen.’ If you didn’t have enough in two hours and forty minutes you’ll have three hours and ten minutes, and I think there is three hours and thirty minutes coming so they’ll be a lot more Watchmen to come, regardless of how people feel about it.”

When asked about the three-plus hour version of the film, Snyder said:

“I think that’s still happening. I think they’re still going to do a limited run of it, or they’re still talking about it anyway.”

I can kind of see where Snyder is coming from when he talks about the box office results. Although it was disappointing in the sense that we fans so badly wanted it not only to be a great film, but also to be as financially successful as it deserves to be. But for the type of the film that it is, with all the stuff it has in it – extreme violence, swearing, sex, murder – it did very solidly.

It would be wise for Warner Bros. to release the Director’s Cut theatrically – if nothing else they can capitalize on those who liked and love the film. In this case I don’t think the fans would mind being taken advantage of (money-wise) if it means getting an extended cut of Watchmen.

Do you think they should release the Watchmen Director’s Cut theatrically or just leave it for the DVD/Blu-ray release? Do you consider the film to be a box-office disappointment?

Source: /Film

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  1. The problem with “Watchmen” is that it’s really a movie (and even a comic book) that can only be *fully* appreciated by comic book fans. This is why it doesn’t have a good shot at reaching a mainstream audience.

    I saw the film, and I loved it. For those that wish the squid had been in there, I must disagree. The solution the filmmakers came up with was a much better one. Even in the comic book, the whole squid thing was kind of hokey, and I also enjoyed the comic book a lot. Perhaps the main reason I didn’t mind the alteration was that the film’s writers kept the characters true to themselves even with the different events. Rorschach’s fate at the end of the film was still in keeping with that character (Jackie Earle Haley also deserves a lot of credit for capturing the essence of that character). Films can never be completely true to the original material. It just can’t be done. The best a film can ever do is capture the spirit/mood/moral lesson of the book/comic book. Watchmen, the film, succeeds in that regard. Unfortunately, that’s also why it couldn’t succeed with the mainstream public, which is a pity.

  2. I’m pretty sure word of mouth killed this movie’s box office numbers. People are just not prepared to handle the amount of full frontal male nudity in this movie. That is all I heard about after opening weekend on the radio and from people who saw it. I read the graphic novel, and even though I expected it, Dr. Manhattan’s many nude appearances still made me uncomfortable. I’m just glad I didn’t see it with any female friends.

  3. “I’m just glad I didn’t see it with any female friends.”

    i guess i made that mistake

  4. I felt awkward enough just with guys.

  5. Maybe it was just me, and I was expecting it and all, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about the blue dude’s “stash.” My wife and I saw it together, and I didn’t really feel it was all that “in our face” or awkward. To me, this has really been made into something more than it really is. I felt they used Dr. Manhattan’s blue aura to help make it a little less overt than it might have been otherwise. Of course, maybe the theater I went to just didn’t have a very good projector. haha

  6. I read the graphic novel and all I have to say is this: Theres a reason why the studio execs once said the movie is unfilmable. Cuz it sucked thats why. When are you guys gonna realize that Zack Snyder is all flash but no substance? When I saw 300 I wanted to personally go up to him and beat him up. He can’t direct actors worth a s*** and has to rely on other peoples materials to make money. I think Robert Rodriquez should of directed this movie, atleast he has one thing Snyder lacks and thats integrity.

  7. I heard that this obscure animated cartoon of the Watchmen was going to be in the unrated director’s cut DVD.

  8. i dont know if id call the Black Freighter obscure

  9. @ Michael

    You have to click the link. Its not the Black Freighter.

  10. Although certainly not a box office failure…,come on that’s absolute crap to write, here are the facts: Production Budget: $130 million, Domestic: $107,509,799, Foreign:$77,749,184 = Worldwide: 185,258,983 (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=watchmen.htm), that’s what the industry calls a FLOP!!!
    Meanwhile after three further flops Mr. Synder seems doomed to fail both the critiques & profits.

    • @max dwight how dumb do you feel seeing zack snyder doing superman and batman and killing it in man of steel?

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