The reaction from the average moviegoer would have remained the same. They didn't have a problem with the flow, pacing, character arcs, or plot. Mainly because, in this day and age, the average moviegoer doesn't care. They had a problem with the fact that there was no action, that it was "too boring," that it was too long, and that there was too much male nudity. If anything, they would have hated the Director's Cut even more.
This was a big issue in my theater. Everyone there had some comment about it that they'd catcall just loud enough for me to hear up near the front row. The American public as a whole, it seems, is totally content with seeing naked women in basically every R-rated comedy nowadays, but throw in male nudity, and everyone is shocked and mortified. You would not believe how many people would reference it. I would say, "Oh, did you see WATCHMEN?" And they'd say, "Ew, is that the movie with the naked blue guy? I think I'm gonna pass."
It really shocked and mortified me that so many people in this country have that mentality. How far have we really come?