Not nearly enough people in theater audiences, apparently. Last week's $55 million opening for Watchmen was solid, but not earth-shaking. The 67% drop in its second weekend suggests that everyone who wanted to see it came early, but not necessarily often.
Look, I generally have no interest in the box-office game. Too many people use it as an equivalent for quality ("Paul Blart must be awesome, look how much money it made!"), or use the tanking of a film they didn't like as a justification. In a crowded marketplace, with a fragmented audience and certain demographics over-represented among ticket-buyers, sometimes box-office results only accidentally mirror artistic merit.
But this performance is gonna cost people jobs, no matter how absurd it was to use 300 as the measuring stick (hint: 300 had oiled-up hardbodies. Tell me what Watchmen has for women or gay men). Daring and expensive work just isn't going to fly ITCEC (the acronym I will now use for the pervasive qualifier "in the current economic climate"). No matter what I think of Watchmen in particular, that may end up being a loss for all of us.