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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