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Weekend Update: Watchmen Opening Not So Big; Kubrick's Tenth; Obama Gives Brown DVDs

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 8, 2009 at 5:26AM

While Watchmen delivered a robust opening of about $55.7 million in North America, it came in lower than expectations--and much lower than Snyder's last film, the blockbuster 300--both domestically and overseas. Finally, Watchmen works best as the narratively complex, visually dazzling comics series from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Originally published in 1986, the graphic novel is flying off the shelves. I hope people do read the book, which instantly draws you in with its compelling, never confusing storytelling, deepening and peeling new layers as it goes. The movie, on the other hand, is hard to fathom, boasts too many characters, and doesn't add up to much. Set in the 80s, Zack Snyder's film deals with the Vietnam and Cold War, and the end of the world via nuclear attack, but supplies a new ending with strange shades of 9/11. Moore always did insist that his comics were unfilmable.
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While Watchmen delivered a robust opening of about $55.7 million in North America, it came in lower than expectations--and much lower than Snyder's last film, the blockbuster 300--both domestically and overseas. Finally, Watchmen works best as the narratively complex, visually dazzling comics series from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Originally published in 1986, the graphic novel is flying off the shelves. I hope people do read the book, which instantly draws you in with its compelling, never confusing storytelling, deepening and peeling new layers as it goes. The movie, on the other hand, is hard to fathom, boasts too many characters, and doesn't add up to much. Set in the 80s, Zack Snyder's film deals with the Vietnam and Cold War, and the end of the world via nuclear attack, but supplies a new ending with strange shades of 9/11. Moore always did insist that his comics were unfilmable.


The Brits are unhappy with Barack Obama for the way he treated Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who may be the ultimate workaholic policy wonk but lacks a few volts in the charisma department. His countrymen are even complaining about Obama's gift to Brown of the AFI set of 25 DVDs.

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Gold Derby reports that the Academy is delivering Heath Ledger's Oscar to Michelle Williams.

Ray Pride and Jamie Stuart celebrate the 10th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick's death. Here's a wonderful 2001 Kubrick special on Charlie Rose featuring Kubrick's wife and producer and Martin Scorsese:

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

This article is related to: Box Office, Genres, Directors, Books, Comics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.