WATCHMEN will open on 3,611 screens this weekend, the most ever for an R-rated film, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Among those will be 124 IMAX theaters, as well as 29 international IMAX theaters. On MovieTickets.com, IMAX ticket sales account for one-third of all Watchmen sales, and IMAX's site crashed four times this week due to WATCHMEN traffic surges, according to IMAX Filmed Entertainment president Greg Foster.
Director Zack Snyder has some experience with early rushes to see his bloody action films: the first-day take for his 300 was the second-highest for an R-rated film with $28 million. (Warner Bros.' THE MATRIX RELOADED in 2003 got $42.5 million on its opening day).
WATCHMEN will play 1,600 locations starting at midnight Thursday, more than the 650 or so that 300 had.