As bad as the economy’s been lately, and as much as there are a lot of people who need a gig, I’m really quite thankful I don’t work at Universal.
The studio’s definitely been making a lot of crap in recent years, culminating with the disaster of Battleship, a movie which many had it in for since day one.
What especially sucks for everyone involved is that no one’s talking about the film getting a second chance. This stands in sharp contrast to John Carter, which boasts a sizable fan following despite dreadful reviews and a lower than expected box office take.
Indede, after John Carter took a major beating at the box office, the L.A. Times couldn’t believe Battleship didn’t have the same kind of stigma in the press considering it was a disaster on the same level. “How did Battleship escape the John Carter flop furor?,” asked a clearly incredulous Patrick Goldstein.
“Both films cost more than $200 million to make,” Goldstein adds, “an additional $100 million to market and, despite OK performances overseas, were pretty much dead on arrival in the United States. While John Carter got a noisy, prolonged thrashing from the showbiz media, Battleship has largely escaped scrutiny.”
Then right after this report, finally Universal had to admit the truth: Battleship indeed was a bomb. As The Wrap reported, Brian Roberts, chairman of Comcast, publicly acknowledged the film was “an unfortunate, large miss. With Battleship and The Five Year Engagement going down for the count, “This year you put that together, we’ll have a negative quarter at NBC Universal,” Roberts continued. And as The Wrap put it, “In a summer where anything that is not The Avengers seems to be stumbling at the box office, Battleship has been the biggest turkey.”
Ultimately, what can you do? You win some, you lose some. I’m sure director Peter Berg and the cast of Battleship will all be fine and continue to work, and hopefully somebody learned a lesson from this. Universal won’t be churning out good movies any time soon, but for everyone creatively involved in Battleship, they should know by now not to touch that stove again, because they’ll get burned badly if they do.