Warner Bros. Pictures' Watchmen has set its first record before even opening - its 3,611 theater count will be the most ever for an R-rated film.
Also, the Zack Snyder-directed graphic novel adaptation will play in an impressive 1,600 locations starting at midnight Thursday. That's substantially more than the 656 midnight shows that helped Snyder's 300 earn $28 million in only the first day of its $71 million opening weekend in March 2007.
The first-day haul for 300 was the second-highest ever for an R-rated film, after the $42.5 million tally that Warners registered with 2003's The Matrix Reloaded. The previous widest release for an R-rated movie was the distributor's 3,603-theater bow for "Reloaded."
The Watchmen theater count includes 124 engagements in IMAX which all will have midnight shows.