Battleship: $200 million under the sea
We're not even halfway through the year and already the second biggest cliffhanger at the box office is over.
Since last year we've reported on the big screen version of Battleship, which was part of Universal's deal with Hasbro. A series of Hasbro games were going to be adapted into movies at Universal, but that deal fell apart with only Battleship getting made.
So now the box office reports are in, and Battleship got sunk by The Avengers, which had its third straight week at the top with $55.1 million, just a 47% drop from last week. (The Avengers is also now the fourth biggest movie of all time with a world-wide gross of $1.18 billion).
Battleship came in at $25.3 million, which is very weak, especially considering it got its ass handed to it by a movie that's been out for three weeks already.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us Universal was hoping for a $35-40 million opening, and now the studio's going to take a sizable loss. "There's already speculation that Battleship will follow the same course as John Carter," The Reporter says, although TheWrap counters that the film "ran aground," at the box office "but it's no John Carter." Then again, this could also be studio spin control, and they've been spinning feverishly on this movie since last year.
Universal did try to spin early screenings for theater owners as having a positive reaction, and director Peter Berg also put on a brave front to the press for months, easily brushing away the haters with confidence and charm. But the word was pretty much out about Battleship last month when it first came out overseas several weeks back, and received terrible reviews across the board. Universal released the film foreign first because the foreign market is much bigger for movies than domestic these days, but it didn't do that great overseas either.
Another reason for the Battleship hate, beside the fact that many consider the idea of a board-game adaptation to be completely lame, is Universal also turned down several interesting projects to make it. This includes Guillermo del Toro's dream project, At the Mountains of Madness, and The Dark Tower, with Javier Bardem in the lead, and Ron Howard directing. As much as we dread more Fast and Furious movies from Universal, at least they won't cost anyone $200 million...