Watchmen Movie Trailer 2009
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Watchmen is a 2009 superhero film directed by Zack Snyder and starring Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Patrick Wilson. It is an adaptation of the comic book of the same name by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Set in an alternate-history 1985, tensions heighten between the United States and the Soviet Union as a group of former vigilantes investigates an apparent conspiracy against them and uncovers something even more grandiose and sinister.
The story takes place in an alternate timeline in which masked, costumed vigilantes fight crime in America, originally in response to a rise in masked and costumed gangs and criminals. In the 1930s and ’40s, the vigilantes formed a group called the Minutemen to “finish what the law couldn’t.” The original lineup often suffered early and violent deaths in action, or became suicides, or were arrested for breaking the law themselves, or in one case was committed to an asylum. Decades later, a second generation of “superheroes” attempts to form a team as well, called the Watchmen. Various historical events are shown to have been altered by the existence of superheroes, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War. The American victory in Vietnam, due to the intervention of the godlike being Doctor Manhattan, leads to Richard Nixon’s third term as President following the repeal of term limits in the United States. By the 1980s, however, the Watchmen have been outlawed by Nixon after an outpouring of anti-vigilante sentiment in the country, and tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union have escalated the Cold War with threats of nuclear attack.
By 1985, only three adventurers remain active: the Comedian and Doctor Manhattan, both of whom act with government sanction, and the masked vigilante Rorschach, who refuses to retire and remains active illegally. Investigating the murder of government agent Edward Blake, Rorschach discovers that Blake was the Comedian, concluding that someone is trying to eliminate the original Watchmen. He goes off to warn his former comrades—the emotionally detached Dr. Jon Osterman (Doctor Manhattan) and his lover Laurie Jupiter (Silk Spectre), Daniel Dreiberg (Nite Owl), and Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)—but he makes little progress.
After Blake’s funeral, Dr. Manhattan is accused of causing the cancers afflicting his former girlfriend and colleagues from before the accident that turned him into the being he is now. Manhattan exiles himself to Mars, giving the Soviet Union the confidence to invade Afghanistan in his absence. Later, Rorschach’s conspiracy theory appears to be justified when Adrian, who had long since made his identity as Ozymandias public before retiring, narrowly avoids an assassination attempt, and Rorschach finds himself framed for murder.
In 1986, producers Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver acquired film rights to Watchmen for 20th Century Fox. Fox asked author Alan Moore to write a screenplay based on his story, but he declined, so the studio enlisted screenwriter Sam Hamm. Hamm took the liberty of re-writing Watchmen’s complicated ending into a “more manageable” conclusion involving an assassination and a time paradox. Fox put the project into turnaround in 1991, and the project was moved to Warner Bros., where Terry Gilliam was attached to direct and Charles McKeown to rewrite it. They used the character Rorschach’s diary as a voice-over and restored scenes from the comic book that Hamm had removed. Gilliam and Silver were only able to raise $25 million for the film (a quarter of the necessary budget) because their previous films had gone overbudget. Gilliam abandoned the project because he decided that Watchmen would have been unfilmable. “Reducing [the story] to a two or two-and-a-half hour film […] seemed to me to take away the essence of what Watchmen is about,” he said. After Warner Bros. dropped the project, Gordon invited Gilliam back to helm the film independently. The director again declined, believing that the comic book would be better directed as a five-hour miniseries.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment published an USA-only episodic video game to be released alongside the film called Watchmen: The End Is Nigh. Warner Bros. took this low-key approach to avoid rushing the game on such a tight schedule, as most games adapted from films are panned by critics and gamers.The game is set in the 1970s, and is written by Len Wein, the comic’s editor; Dave Gibbons is also an advisor. On March 4, 2009 Glu Mobile released Watchmen: The Mobile Game, a beat ’em up mobile game featuring Nite Owl and The Comedian fighting enemies in their respective settings of New York City and Vietnam. On March 6, 2009, a game for the Apple Inc. iPhone and iPod Touch platform was released, titled Watchmen: Justice is Coming. Though highly anticipated, this mobile title suffered from serious game play and network issues which have yet to be resolved.
As a promotion for the film, Warner Bros. Entertainment released Watchmen: Motion Comics, a series of narrated animations of the original comic book. The first chapter was released for purchase in the summer of 2008 on digital video stores, such as iTunes Store and Amazon Video on Demand. DC Direct released action figures based on the film in January 2009. Director Zack Snyder also set up a YouTube contest petitioning Watchmen fans to create faux commercials of products made by the fictional Veidt Enterprises. The producers also released two short video pieces online, which were intended to be viral videos designed as fictional backstory pieces, with one being a 1970 newscast marking the 10th anniversary of the public appearance of Dr. Manhattan. The other was a short propaganda film promoting the Keene Act of 1977, which made it illegal to be a superhero without government support. An official viral marketing web site, The New Frontiersman, is named after the tabloid magazine featured in the graphic novel, and contains teasers styled as declassified documents. After the trailer to the film premiered in July 2008, DC Comics president Paul Levitz said that the company had had to print more than 900,000 copies of Watchmen trade collection to meet the additional demand for the book that the advertising campaign had generated, with the total annual print run expected to be over one million copies. DC Comics reissued Watchmen #1 for the original cover price of $1.50 on December 10, 2008; no other issues are to be reprinted.
Tales of the Black Freighter, a fictional comic within the Watchmen limited series, was adapted as a direct-to-video animated feature from Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation, and released on March 24, 2009.It was originally included in the Watchmen script, but was changed from live-action footage to animation because of the $20 million it would have cost to film it in the 300-esque stylized manner Snyder wanted; this animated version, originally intended to be included in the final cut, was then cut because the film was already approaching a three-hour running time. Gerard Butler, who starred in 300, voices the Captain in the animated feature, having been promised a role in the live-action film that never materialized.Jared Harris voices his deceased friend Ridley, whom the Captain hallucinates is talking to him. Snyder had Butler and Harris record their parts together.[International rights to Black Freighter are held by Paramount.
The Tales of the Black Freighter DVD also includes Under the Hood, a documentary detailing the characters’ backstories, which takes its title from that of Hollis Mason’s memoirs in the comic book.Under the Hood is rated PG because of the friendly public image of the characters. The actors were allowed to improvise during filming interviews in character.Bolex cameras were even used to film “archive” footage of the Minutemen. The film itself is scheduled to be released on DVD four months after Tales of the Black Freighter, and Warner Bros. will release a director’s cut on July 21, 2009, and the extended version with the animated film edited back into the main picture in December.Snyder said if the film does well enough, the director’s cut will be simultaneously theatrically released in New York and Los Angeles.In addition, the Watchmen: Motion Comics, was released in digital video stores and DVD on March 3. It included an exclusive scene from the movie but as of press time (prior to the disc’s release) the scene had yet to be added.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 21, 2009. The Blu-ray contains Maximum Movie Mode, which plays the movie along with a video presentation by director Zack Snyder, and includes behind-the-scenes footage, comic comparisons, trivia, and more. In December, 2009, an “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” will be released. The five-disc set will include the director’s cut of the film with Tales of the Black Freighter woven in, new commentaries by Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons, the complete Watchmen Motion Comics, and over 2 hours of bonus content including Under the Hood, which was previously released on the Tales of the Black Freighter DVD.
Watchmen was released at midnight on March 6, 2009, and earned an estimated $4.6 million for the early showing, which is approximately twice as much as 300, Snyder’s previous comic book adaptation. The film earned $24,515,772 in 3,611 theaters its first day, and later finished its opening weekend grossing $55,214,334. Watchmen’s opening weekend is the highest of any Alan Moore adaptation to date, and the income was also greater than the entire box office take of From Hell, which ended its theatrical run with $31,602,566.Although the film only finished with $55 million for its opening, while Snyder’s previous adaptation 300 earned $70 million in its opening weekend, Warner Bros.’ head of distribution, Dan Fellman, believes that the opening weekend success of the two films cannot be compared due to the extended running time of Watchmen—the film comes in at 2 hours and 45 minutes, while 300 is just under 2 hours—provides the 2009 film with fewer showings a night than 300. Next to the general theaters, Watchmen pulled in $5.4 million at 124 IMAX screens, which is the third largest opening behind Star Trek and The Dark Knight.
Following its first week at the box office, Watchmen saw a significant drop in attendance. By the end of its second weekend, the film brought in $17,817,301, finishing second on that weekend’s box office. The 67.7% overall decrease is one of the highest for a major comic book movie.Losing two-thirds of its audience from its opening weekend, the film finished second for the weekend of March 13-15, 2009.The film continued to drop about 60% in almost every subsequent weekend, leaving the top ten in its fifth weekend, and the top twenty in its seventh. Watchmen crossed the $100 million mark on March 26, its twenty-first day at the box office, and finished its domestic theatrical run on May 28, having grossed $107,509,799 in 84 days.
Watchmen currently sits fourth in all time openings for the month of March, as well as the sixth largest opening for an R-rated film in North American history.It is currently the second highest grossing R-rated film of 2009, behind The Hangover. On the North American box office, Watchmen currently sits as the thirteenth highest grossing film based on a DC Comics comic book, and the sixteenth highest-grossing film of 2009.
Next to its domestic opening, Watchmen earned $26.6 million in 45 territories overseas; of these, Britain and France had the highest box office with an estimated $4.6 million and $2.5 million, respectively. Watchmen also took in approximately $2.3 million in Russia, $2.3 million in Australia, $1.6 million in Italy, and $1.4 million in Korea.As of July 21, 2009, the film has collected $75,225,483 in foreign box office, bringing its worldwide total to $182,735,282.
The original theatrical release of the film received mixed reviews. Based on 255 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Watchmen currently has a 64% ‘fresh’ approval rating from critics, with an average score of 6.2/10.Among Rotten Tomatoes’ Top Critics, which consists of notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds a ‘rotten’ overall approval rating of 42%, with an average score of 5.2/10.By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 56, based on 39 reviews.CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade cinemagoers gave the film was B on an A+ to F scale, and that the primary audience was older men.
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