Warner Bros. pic doubles Snyder's '300' gross

Warner Bros.’ “Watchmen” grossed $4.6 million in Thursday midnight runs, more than double the midnight gross for Zack Snyder’s previous film “300.”

Pic played more than 1,595 midnight run across the country.

All of the 124 Imax midnight runs were sold out to the point that the exhib added 3 a.m. shows. Imax says much of the weekend is sold out.

Today, “Watchmen” officially opens in a total 3,611 theaters. That’s the widest theater count ever for an R-rated film.

“300” grossed $70.9 million in its opening weekend in early March 2006 and had a Thursday midnight gross of $2.5 million. Box observers believe “Watchmen” will beat that weekend number, despite its lengthy running time of 2:40. Especially after Fandango recently reported that 92% of its tickets sales were for “Watchmen.” (As of 9:00 a.m. PST, Friday, March 6th)

“Watchmen” is Snyder’s first directorial outing since “300.”

It also is the first major day-and-date release of 2009. Paramount is Warners and Legendary Pictures’ partner on the film, and is handling the film overseas.

Twentieth Century Fox also gets a cut of the film’s gross part of its legal settlement with Warners.

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