Warner Bros.' new superhero pic "Watchmen" came in lower than we expected at MovieTimes, but still scored the best opening of the year and one of the best showings ever for an R-rated film. Weekend box office for Watchmen was an estimated $55.7 million from 3,611 theaters in its domestic B.O. debut. "Watchmen" did not match the $70.9 million domestic opening of Zack Snyder's previous film, "300" which bowed on the same weekend in 2007.
"Watchmen" nabbed the third highest March opening of all time after "300" and "Ice Age: The Meltdown" ($68 million). Debut is also the fifth best for an R-rated film.
Overall, the domestic ticket sales were pretty good, representing an 11% increase over the same time period last year..
"Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail" became Perry's top-grossing film. Coming in No. 2, the comedy grossed an estimated $8.8 million from 2,151 runs for a cume of $76.5 million. Pic was the previous record-holder for best 2009 opening at $41 million.
After that, an unusually healthy crop of older holdovers (Fox's "Taken," Sony's "Paul Blart: Mall Cop") beat out more recent releases.
For example, Disney's "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" fell off a steep 78% in its second week to place No. 9. The movie grossed an estimated $2.8 million from 1,276 runs for a total of $16.8 million.
Indie Movies were relatively quiet post-Oscars. Fox Searchlight's "Slumdog Millionaire" saw attendance numbers slip considerably, although it stayed high on the top 10 chart. Placing No. 4, "Slumdog" declined 42% to an estimated $6.9 million from 2,890 runs for a total hall of $125.4 million in its 17th week. The Weinstein Co.'s "The Reader" reached the $30 million mark as it grossed an estimated $2 million this week.