Peter Berg on why Battleship struggled

News Simon Brew 26 Jun 2012 - 06:27

If you want Battleship 2, you need to stop watching The Avengers and go and see Battleship 1...

Earlier this year, Universal made a scheduling decision that nearly paid off, but ultimately proved to be a bit of a disaster. When lining up the first of its big summer blockbusters, Battleship, it decided to release the film outside of America first, to allow it presumably to build up momentum ahead of its Stateside bow.

Given the sheer expense of the film, it was a bit of a gamble to stray away from the universal rollout approach, but the studio seemed to have won its bet when Battleship went on to bring in $235m from its non-US engagements. The problem, though, was that it launched the film in America a month after it rolled out in many other territories, and it got caught in the path of The Avengers as a consequence. Its US take? $63m. It's hardly an outright flop - Battleship sits at just shy of $300m overall - but it's also far from the numbers Universal would have been hoping for.

So what went wrong? Well, director Peter Berg has concurred that, in America, "we kind of ran into a well when Avengers refused to go away. The Avengers outperformed everything. It was impossible to get any oxygen. I would have loved to have come out three weeks before The Avengers domestically, like we did internationally".

So has that kyboshed any chance of a sequel? Probably. "What I need everyone to do is go see Battleship now that they've seen Avengers five times", said Berg. "If they do that, we can definitely make a sequel. Battleship is a film I would definitely like to do a sequel to. I loved making that film. I had a great time with it".

We don't think Berg will get his sequel wish, however. Universal may break even with Battleship - the DVD and Blu-ray roll-out starts in the UK at the end of August - but we suspect it won't be in a hurry to greenlight a follow-up. That might switch Berg back towards a sequel to Hancock instead, although that's just speculation on our part.

You can read the chat with Berg at MTV, here.

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It sank because it was a truly awful - Avengers was brilliant and deserved its success

Much as I would like to agree with that, being awful is not enough to make a movie fail that hard domestically. See: Every Twilight film.

Being brilliant is not enough to ensure success. See: Firefly

That said, I am very happy that in this particular case, with these particular films things worked out this way.

I haven't been to the cinema in months and concequently still havent seen the Avengers. I just can't be bothered beng surrounded by screaming kids when I can buy the bluray and watch at home - yes I am a fuddy duddy and not yet even 30 but Im sick of my viewing experience being spoilt by other people

this guy is such a pathetic, sore loser. i don't know if he realizes how weak he is making himself look. pleading people to watch your terrible movie? just accept failure and move on man.

And you've missed your chance to make the most of the football. We went when England were playing and managed to have Jaws all too ourselves! Bliss.

I agree that overall this wasn't anywhere the best film this summer, but I did enjoy the time passing and it did have its moments (not many though).. And there's nothing like a good game of ... War at Sea anyone? I still think the original premise would have worked better, with the US and Chinese fleets fighting over a crashed alien ship in a massive sensor blanking fog bank but maybe they'll do that for the sequel.....oh!

Bit harsh.

It was actually pretty great, just didn't have the name to go up against the other, better movies. Maybe if the US release date was closer to/on the UK one, it could've done a bit better.

No, i disagree, i dont think its harsh enough. About time these studios realised that packing a movie with expensive fx and a mediocre singer doesnt make it good, and Vicky is right, he sounds pathetic.

If you want Battleship 2, you need to stop watching The Avengers and go and see Battleship 1...

-goes and buys another Avengers ticket-

every movie in the wake of things like avatar or avengers loses available dollars, and cannot be predicted. what can be predicted, is what happens when every studio makes a large number of 200 million dollar films in one summer season: there are not enough dollars to float many of these movies into the green, whether they are gems or offal.

the theatres are flooded with genre pictures--great for insatiable genre geek junkies, but for the general public, they begin to blend, and saturate the senses at the same time that they are proving too numerous for people's time and wallets.

most of the winners will be predictable because they will be recognized properties able to poke their heads out above the rest.

Quality of the film aside, is their a more generic sounding movie than Battleship (remember, john Q Public hasn't been snickering about it on the internet for years and likely does not have any brand name recognition--of dubious, if any value, anyways.

You see Pete, it worked like this. After The Avengers, people didn't want to see some terrible movie based on a BOARD GAME, with rubbish looking CGI and Mr Box Office Poison himself, Taylor Kitsch.
At least for now, people have come to expect more of big budget movies. I'm sure they'll be back to normal next summer, when the next Transformers turd plops out, but Battleship was released during the five minutes that moviegoers have realized they don't have to take the same old rubbish.

Alright.Calm down.

If you feel that strongly here's an idea:Just don't go and watch it.Think its your problem for expecting too much from a film called Battleship based on a board game directed by the guy who gave us Hancock.What did you expect:Prometheus.LOL.

So what went wrong? They made a crappy movie based on a board game!

Yeah we new all that before it was released and yet you STILL went to see it.And are still whining about it.I mean,a movie called Battleship based on a board game brought to you by a guy who gave us Hancock.What was you expecting:Prometheus.LOL.

"What I need everyone to do is go seeBattleship now that they've seen Avengers five times", said Berg. "If they do that, we can definitely make a sequel. Battleship is a film I would definitely like to do a sequel to."

What I decided to do after reading this: Keep up the excellent work of avoiding this film!

Hmm, and I thought the problem was terrible idea and terrible star. Guess that shows how much I know

Tuesday afternoon: The best time to go see movies, because there are no damn kids, no damn teenagers, and only frightening troll-people easily intimidated if you have either:1) lady-parts 2 ) a female with you or 3) a paper cut-out mask of Channing Tatum.

Curious, I thought it failed due to being a soulless, pointless, illogical, poorly written load of twaddle. Please, no more Hancock either.

After Hancock and now this, I keep thinking that Berg is deliberately dumbing down with regards to his choices. I mean, The Kingdom was great, so I know that he CAN do a quality film when he tries...

Well - I tried to forget that it was based on a board game - and watched it as a Mil-SF movie. It succeeded BRILLIANTLY on that front...then I read the absolutely sucking Peter David Novelization. If THAT is where the Sequel is headed?...forget it. DO. NOT. BOTHER. I saw the movie, and saw the seeds of a really, really, neat, totally different sort of alien "first contact" story. Something along the lines of what happened to Captain James Cook in Hawaii in 1780. An "Oh hell! they are shooting at us!" SNAFU tragi-comic kind of story...but Peter David is taking us down the same tired old hackneyed alien invasion plot we've seen a zillion times before. Sorry - if that's Battleship II, forget it, don't bother. SyFy can -and has - done better...which is an abysymally low standard.

Oh so easy to blame one's failure on another's success.

no hancock please? battleship is a AAA movie to me!
i think that the time it came out was just bad!
but i am looking forward to the 2nd movie!
i have not seen big movies like this very much these days.
and this one realy left an impression on me.
even if its a typical feel good movie, it does its job realy well!!
you have not seen this movie yet? your missing something indeed!

Hancock was worse then Battleship and there has been far worse "successful" movies then Battleship, why Rhianna was in it I will never understand. I loved the aliens and the special effects, I think their mistake was basing this on a board game, the story was fine but I think most people had already made their mind about this before they saw the movie.

Well, I prefered Battleship to Avengers.....

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