The counterpoint to Hayter is Devin Faraci, who already considers the film a success on an artistic and commercial level. For a property unknown to a lot of people, it had a bigger opening than the surefire characters of Superman Returns or Batman Begins, and the risk Warner Bros took will pay off in its artistic reputation. Kevin Smith admitted to Slashfilm that it had influenced his decision to make A Couple of Dicks with Warner Bros, and other directors are bound to feel the same.
But as much as I'd like to believe the Scrooges of the studios believe as Faraci and Smith do, the disappointment and shock is rather palatable. I did hope it would hold out better against Race to Witch Mountain, and I look at the box office total of Taken (almost $130 million) and wonder if it's doing better repeat business than Watchmen.
To me, it's a reminder that comic books are (despite the enthusiasm and name-dropping of the masses) still a pretty cultish thing, even if Borders can't keep Watchmen on the shelves.
Then again, I shouldn't talk. I had every intention of heeding Hayter's call, but simply ran out of time. It's my own failure (and the vague feelings of guilt accompanying it) that led me to open the floor to Cinematical readers. Did you stay away and assist that 67% drop? Why? Uninterested in the film in general? Don't do repeat viewings? Is it the economy? Disappointment with the film? A lack of time? Tell us in the comments below.