What We Talk About When We Talk About Watchmen
Dan: We're clearly both jacked up for this movie; a lot of readers of our site are probably jacked up for this; there's a community of geeks out there that's jacked up for this. But despite the fact that a million copies of Watchmen were put into print right just this year alone, which is astounding, very few people out there are familiar with the Watchmen comic book or characters. Is this really going to translate to a mass audience?
Zach: Would Dark Knight have done what it did if it wasn't a known quantity? No, of course not. But I don't think something needs to be a known quantity to be wildly successful. Will it be as massively successful as Dark Knight or Spider-Man, I don't know. The fact that it's superheroes might be enough to get your average person interested in it. But then you've got the fact that it's an R-rating, which automatically eliminates any parents taking their kids. So, I think, despite how surprised everyone was that 300 was as successful as it was, I think it still going to have at least that cap that 300 did. But I'm glad they went with an R-rating; I can't imagine what it would have been like with a PG-13. I'm sure they could have done it, but god only knows.... you look at 300, it's a movie about Spartans, but it was because of how it looked and because of word of mouth that it was so successful. And with Watchmen, you already have good word of mouth coming out about the movie. People are seeing the commercial and getting dazzled by the visuals. So I think it has the potential to do at least as well as 300 did, which is not unremarkable.
Dan: Dark Knight was truly dark; it was not by any means a typical superhero movie -- it was darker than X-Men, which was dark for its time as far as superhero movies go. And the fact that people went to see Dark Knight again and again, making it the second-biggest movie of all time, also bodes well for Watchmen. There are people out there who are willing to watch superheroes who aren't happy-go-lucky types who save the day at the end. Dark Knight does not have a happy ending, and yet people kept seeing it over and over again.