Should we have to watch Watchmen a second time?
Watchmen's latest screenwriter David Hayter who has spent a large portion of his life bringing the comic book to script form, is asking for us to go and see the film a second time on it's second weekend release otherwise Hollywood might not make any more films like this again and will stick to the standard Hollywood box office earning fare.
Now while I think there's a problem in Hollywood and they aren't taking enough chances on films such as Watchmen (Filmstalker Review), is asking the audience to spend the cash to go and see the film again really the answer?
While I think that some will go and see the film a second time, the cost of going to the cinema these days is pretty big to allow us to go twice to one film, especially with the amount of releases that are out there, but the writer of Watchmen wants us to, in fact he says we have to in order to ensure Hollywood makes more films like this.
“If the film made you think. Or argue with your friends. If it inspired a debate about the nature of man, or vigilante justice, or the horror of Nixon abolishing term limits. If you laughed at Bowie hanging with Adrian at Studio 54, or the Silhouette kissing that nurse. Please go see the movie again next weekend. You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film’s got both, literally), or true adaptations — And if you’re thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it’ll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we’d like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again.”
You know I can get that, I understand it. It took the studio a long time to get this made, a lot of studios and creatives fell by the wayside on the road to getting the Watchmen to its final destination, and there seems to have been a lot of pushing and fighting to stop the studio from going the usual route of hacking it apart to fit the formula that they think will leverage the maximum box office takings. So we have to show that we really appreciate it and value it in order to make sure that Hollywood knows this is what we want.
However the writer, who is far closer to the Hollywood executives than the audience, should have a little more sway, so why is he saying it's up to us to pay a second time to see the film? Sure maybe these guys can afford to keep paying ticket prices to go back, but for a lot of us the cost of a ticket is a big deal and we don't want to spend a visit missing a new release or something we haven't seen before in order to see a film we've already seen again.
Of course, Watchmen deserves to be seen again, it's a huge film and definitely does get better with multiple viewings, but wait a minute and hear what the studio has in line for the releases.
From what we know we're getting a director's cut released on the big screen, yes there will be another version which will be even longer and will be released in the cinemas, not entirely sure where all the releases will be, but hopefully it will be outside the U.S.
Then there's the DVD, and we've already heard that there are going to be three releases, standard, and two special editions, the first with the director's cut and the second with The Black Freighter intercut.
So with two cinematic releases and three DVD releases (and I'm sure the Blu-ray will add a few more sales on there too) all planned to grab our money, how can we be told that a second visit on the second weekend is really the making or breaking of the film? Aren't they getting enough from us already?
Let's be fair to Hayter though, he's saying that if you want to see the film again then do it on the second weekend...kind of negates everything I've just been ranting about, except it doesn't because he's placing a huge importance on that second weekend, as are Hollywood, but after the second cinema release and the three DVD/Blu-ray releases, surely they're going to be rolling in it regardless?
Can we really imagine that out of that long run of releases that Hollywood will never make this kind of film again because it didn't blast all records on the second weekend of the first cinema release?