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Taylor Kitsch’s stab at leading man glory is not exactly going as planned. After the actor’s “John Carter” flopped big-time, costing studio Disney about $200 million in losses, it looks like Kitsch’s other big-screen sci-fi epic (he was cast in both movies pretty much at the same time), “Battleship” will be costing studio Universal almost as much — around $150 million, give or take.
You can’t really blame it all on Kitsch, though. “Battleship” opened weakly with $25 million Stateside, and even though it’s made about $243 million worldwide (as of this writing), you have to wonder what genius thought it was a good idea to make a big-budget, $200-million-plus dollar film based on a board game. The film certainly looked expensive enough, with director Peter Berg orchestrating CGI carnage on a scale only rivaled by the likes of Paramount’s “Transformers” franchise.
In the same article, THR mentions that Universal have two upcoming films with “Battleship” bust potential — Rupert Sanders’ expensive “Snow White and the Huntsman” ($170 million) and the Keanu Reeves film “47 Ronin”, which unfathomably, will cost Universal $200 million to make. I haven’t a clue how a Samurai movie with Keanu Reeves could possibly cost you $200 million just to make, without even factoring in the cost of promotion yet. Both films are coming from first-time feature-film directors, which probably only adds to the studio’s anxiety.
Bottom line: “Battleship” never really looked like its own movie, and always gave the impression (probably because that was the strategy from the very beginning) that it was trying to be another “Transformers”, minus the “Transformers” in the title. On the plus side, maybe this will keep Hasbro from making more ill-conceived movies based on their boardgames…