'Watchmen' director's cut to theaters

Four cities to screen pic a week before Comic-Con

Warner Bros. is giving Zack Snyder's director's cut of "Watchmen" a limited theatrical rollout one week before Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The cut, which will have an additional 25 minutes of footage including the death of a supporting character, will screen in Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis and Dallas before the movie is released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 21.

The rollout will culminate with a special screening July 25 at Comic-Con that is designed to act as a BD-Live event, a Blu-ray feature that will allow any viewer in North America to watch the movie simultaneously as the audience at Comic-Con, see and hear Snyder comment on the movie, and even ask questions. The screening will then be archived and will be able to be accessed for future viewings.

"Comic-Con, it isn't just comic book fanatics, it's cinephiles as well. It'll be cool to discuss what people are thinking," Snyder said at a "Watchmen" press day, held Wednesday at Warner Bros., where the news was unveiled. The day was designed to showcase a bonus Blu-ray feature called Maximum Movie Mode as well as features to be seen in Snyder's Blu-ray release of "300: The Complete Experience."

"Warner Bros. is hoping to use the filmmakers of its movies to produce immersive home movie experiences."

"We're lucky to have filmmakers at Warners that believe in that," said Warners vp high-def market expansion Kris Brown.

The theatrical rerelease is unusual, as the movie is generally considered to be a bit of a boxoffice disappointment, with only $107.5 million grossed domestically. Critics were also divided about the movie, with some saying it was too slavish to the graphic novel's many devotees.

Snyder, however, stood by it. "I'm proud of the movie. It does everything I wanted it to," he said.