Battleship sinks at the box office

battleship sinks

When you first heard that Universal Studios was planning on making a movie out of the classic board game Battleship, what was your immediate reaction? Bewilderment? Confusion? Cruel laughter? That was pretty much the feeling that everyone had, and yet the studio pressed on, hiring Liam Neeson, Rihanna and Taylor Kitsch in leading roles and dropping an astronomical amount of money on special effects, presumably in the hopes that movie goers would be too enraptured with all the shiny CGI to realize that the film’s base concept is both utterly baffling and an incredibly cynical attempt to pry open the wallets of unsuspecting movie patrons.

Much to the comfort of anyone who holds out hope for humanity however, it seems that the masses collectively turned up their noses at the film, and its US debut this past weekend was monumentally catastrophic. According to Deadline’s tally, the film pulled in just $25.3 million — barely one-tenth of its budget. By comparison, Marvel’s objectively excellent The Avengers raked in another $55.6 million, despite having been in US theaters for nearly a month.

For those keeping score at home, that figure officially gives Battleship the record for the lowest opening weekend ever seen by a film that cost more than $200 million to make.

In somewhat positive news however, the studio was wise enough to release the film overseas prior to its US debut, and since the bad word of mouth that seemingly sunk the film here in The States wasn’t yet in place for foreign audiences, Battleship has reclaimed its $209 million budget, but only just barely. It’s certainly not the spectacular, franchise-spawning success that producers and director Peter Berg were hoping for.

As to why the film failed, we offer this quote from our very own review that, while short, does a pretty solid job of summing up the entire experience:

Battleship is not a good film. It is not a clever film, and the explosions are not all that spectacular. The acting is also painfully bad on almost every level.

The cumulative review system at Rotten Tomatoes seems to concur, as Battleship currently sports a pitiful 35-percent rating.

Given that we all expected a film based on a board game to be a spectacular failure, this isn’t really news, but there are two very important reasons why we’ve created the story you’re currently reading. First, schadenfreude. Who doesn’t like having their pre-conceived notions utterly and undeniably verified by the cold fist of capitalist reality?

Second, and more importantly, we’re holding out hope that Battleship’s failure will convince Hollywood that films based on board games are a terrible idea. Universal has an utterly baffling film based on the Ouija board phenomenon scheduled to hit theaters in 2013, and honestly we can’t even imagine how one creates a plot based entirely on an inanimate piece of cardboard. Yet, they’ll try, and that’s why they go home to multi-million dollar mansions in Malibu while the rest of us eat dog food in cardboard shanty towns.

Movies & TV

You should read these epic sci-fi novels before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Business

Alita: Battle Angel’s big opening weekend leads weak holiday box office

New box-office champion Alita: Battle Angel outperformed expectations with its big premiere and positive reviews from critics, but Presidents' Day weekend is still off to a slow start.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

J.J. Abrams wraps production on Star Wars: Episode IX with a heartfelt message

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has wrapped production on Star Wars: Episode IX, which he directed and co-wrote. Here's everything we know about the movie before it premieres in December 2019.
Movies & TV

How Avengers: Infinity War’s Oscar-nominated VFX team made Thanos a movie star

The purple-skinned Thanos proved to be a breakout character in Avengers: Infinity War, thanks to the work of actor Josh Brolin and visual effects studios Digital Domain and Weta. Here's how they brought him to life and earned the film an…
Deals

FA Cup: Watch Chelsea vs. Manchester United with ESPN Plus 7-day free trial

Chelsea and Manchester United are facing off in an exciting FA Cup match, with the fifth round - a tie match - slated for Monday. Die-hard fans of English football can stream the game anywhere at any time with ESPN Plus, and here's how to…
Movies & TV

Why First Man’s Oscar-nominated visual effects are a giant leap for filmmaking

Paul Lambert, the award-winning visual effects supervisor on First Man, reveals the innovative techniques that blended old footage with modern movie magic to make the Apollo 11 mission to the moon resonate with audiences 50 years later and…
Movies & TV

Netflix completes its breakup with Marvel, cancels The Punisher, Jessica Jones

Two of Netflix's last-remaining Marvel shows have been canceled by the video streaming service. The Punisher is done after two seasons and Jessica Jones will be finished after its still-unreleased third season.
Movies & TV

Bill and Ted 3 celebrates the franchise's 30th birthday with excellent teaser

As the Bill and Ted franchise turns 30, a third installment that the cast and creative team call Bill and Ted Face the Music is officially in preproduction, though there are big hurdles to overcome.
Movies & TV

Amazon's Lord of the Rings series gets an interactive map of Middle-earth

Amazon Studios is betting big on its Lord of the Rings prequel series, which has a multiseason commitment and a budget of more than $1 billion. The series' first season will arrive by 2021.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.
Home Theater

Amazon ups the ante with Netflix, aims to release up to 30 movies a year

Netflix has a huge budget for both licensed and original content. But Amazon Studios isn't far behind. Studio chief Jennifer Salke revealed a plan to do 30 theatrical and direct-to-Amazon Prime titles this year alone.
Movies & TV

To drive its giant virtual world, Ready Player One needed a custom A.I. engine

Steven Spielberg and a visual effects team led by Roger Goyett built a new, virtual universe populated by a host of familiar characters for the Oscar-nominated Ready Player One, but they still had to maintain a powerful emotional depth in…
Movies & TV

An Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series might be headed to Disney Plus

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.