The lessons of Battleship

Whenever someone drops a bomb, there’s usually fall out. When John Carter tanked, the chairman of Disney got the boot, and who knows what the long-term repercussions over Battleship are going to be at Universal. 

The studio’s had a series of embarrassing flops culminating with Battleship, and as we’ve reported many times here on TG, they’ve turned down a lot of interesting projects to make crap like the Fast and Furious movies.

Now Vulture has reported on what could be the potential fall out over Battleship, and the first on the list is one I didn’t foresee: “a cloudier future for Walt Disney Studios.” 

Apparently Scott Stuber, who was a producer on Battleship, has been trying to fill the position of chairman at Disney since Rich Ross lost his job in the wake of the John Carter disaster. But that’s not going to be so likely when Battleship and The Wolfman both took $100 million dollar write-downs at Universal on Stuber’s watch.


And of course, there’s further speculation that more firings will happen at Universal thanks to Battleship, but such a scenario projection doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out. Like with John Carter, marketing is being blamed for the failure of both movies, and the current spin is that Battleship “wasn’t sold to families,” said one Universal source, “which is curious, given its [PG-13] rating.” 

Vulture also points out that Universal did a really good job of selling “the utterly mediocre Safe House and The Lorax,” yet I’ve always believed that all the hype in the world can’t bring people in if they don’t want to go to.


I think a source who spoke to Vulture put it best about Battleship. The movie “never got over the whole idea of, ‘Really? Come on!’ as a judgment against it.” 

Vulture also feels that if anything good about the failure of Battleship, it will be that “from now on, only member of the Billionaire Boys Club will get shoot-for-the-moon budgets,” meaning directors like James Cameron, Michael Bay, Christopher Nolan, etc. 

But again, this is wishful thinking. Yes, films with big budgets were put on hold, but that’s nothing new, and movies like Battleship, as long as it makes sense to a businessman at a major studio, will continue to go forward.

In other related Battleship news, a funny story has been getting some play all over the ‘Net, with Vulture compiling every line of Rhianna’s dialogue from the film. We won’t redo all of it from beginning to end, but here’s some highlights:


“What’s wrong with you, drama queen?,” “Oh this gon’ be sweet. He hates the man,” “Weird, man,” “Mahalo, motherf*cker,” “Roger, Echo 1-1,” “Go, go, go!,” and “Navy!”