A critic friend predicted last night that Watchmen‘s Rotten Tomatoes rating — now standing at 65% positive among the grunts and 44% positive among the creme de la creme — is “going to collapse” when the regular daily critics starting being heard from tonight. (Partly, he suspects, because Warner Bros. publicists kept big-name critics waiting in sub-freezing temperatures outside of the theatre where the Manhattan all-media occured last Tuesday night.)

But you know something? 44% of the elite reviews being positive (including Roger Ebert‘s) is nothing to sniff at. The movie clearly has merit for some, and this should be respected as far as it goes. 44% is nothing to sniff at. Except…well, c’mon, we all know what a below-50% positive means in the real world out there. Be honest. And we all know what’s likely to happen after the fanboys rush in to see it this weekend.