When it unspools for 1,600 midnight showings tonight, the superhero actioner Watchmen will have already broken one record: it is opening at 3,611 theaters tomorrow, the most for an R-rated film.
Compare that to the 656 midnight shows that put director Zack Snyder on the map exactly two years ago with his film 300. That sword-and-sandal epic earned $28 million the first day and $71 million the opening weekend. Look for this one to do about double that number.
Like Watchmen, 300 was a graphic novel adaptation.
Among its opening gigs, Watchmen will show at 124 IMAX locations. The IMAX web site crashed four times this week due to browsers looking for ticket info.
Fandango reported yesterday that Watchmen represented 90% of its sales for this coming weekend.