Universal Will Probably Lose $150 Million on Battleship


Battleship (2012) Movie International Character PosterTaylor 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…

Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) Movie Image

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • Doubleh55

    I don’t understand that if a film already has grossed over 250 million dollars that it’s still going to lose a ton of money. That’s fucked up.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      The rule of thumb is, if a film costs $200 to make, you can add at least $100 more for promotions (those TV ads, sending your celebrities around the world, press junkets, etc). And you have to keep in mind that the studio doesn’t actually get all of that $250 million. The theaters get a chunk of it, too, and other parties, depending on how the film was distributed. Lots of accounting shenanigans goes into determining if a film is a hit or flop, but it’s hard to hide when everyone knows you spent $200 million (or more) just to MAKE the movie, and you’re just now earning back the production budget.

  • Noir

    Doesn’t that make Battleship the second biggest flop ever, right after John Carter? (not adjusted for inflation) Taylor Kitsch should go into the Guiness World Records.

  • Hoonda

    The release date of the movie is fucked up!That’s all!

  • Huffy

    What the hell is Universal doing? After a couple of years of taking chances with some fairly original, daring films I can understand that they wanted to play it safe and go after some traditional popcorn fare. But they just seem to be throwing money at random ideas and hoping that audiences will show up. I mean Battleship was a stupid enough idea but who in their right mind would spend $200 million dollars on a samurai picture (a niche genre) staring Keanu (his post-Matrix career hasn’t been inspiring) from a first-time director? I’m sorry but if you think that’s a good idea you deserve to lose a boatload of money.