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Watchmen Tops at Box Office With $55.2M Opening

watchmen-031009Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel Watchmen, opened over the weekend with a solid $55.2 million from 3,611 theaters on 7,500 screens, helping the box office improve a healthy 11% over the same time frame last year.  The film opened on Friday with $24.5M before dropping 25% on Saturday to $18.4M and 33% on Sunday to $12.3M.

While still a respectable bow, the picture fell slightly below opening weekend expectations of $60-70M.

The film performed better in IMAX venues.  Opening in 124 of the large-screen theaters, Watchmen generated a second-best ever $5.4 million, accounting for nearly 10 percent of its weekend gross on less than three and a half percent of the film’s total theater count. (The Dark Knight holds the record — $6.3 million at 94 sites).

In fact, while Watchmen failed to match Snyder’s last film — March record holder 300 which grossed $70.9M in 2007 — Watchmen’s IMAX gross was significantly above 300 ($3.6M from 62 such venues).

In foreign markets, the film took $27.5 million from 5,097 theaters in 45 territories.  Thus far, Watchmen is at $82.7M worldwide.

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Variety