24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Battleship

'Battleship' debuts weakly at the box office [video]

May 21, 2012 |  5:00 am

BattleshipThe headline writers had fun.

The makers of “Battleship” didn’t.

In a dramatically weak opening, the alien invasion drama grossed just an estimated $25.3 million in its domestic premiere, as “Battleship” took in less than half the returns of “The Avengers” in its third weekend.

The Marvel superhero story continued its stunning run at the ticket window, becoming the highest grossing global release in the history of the Walt Disney Co., with total receipts of $1.18 billion.

“Battleship” has done moderately well overseas, grossing $226.8 million to date, but with a budget of $209 million and gloomy prospects domestically, Universal Pictures will struggle just to break even on the production. 

Two other new films in wide release opened softly. Paramount’s Sacha Baron Cohen comedy “The Dictator” grossed $17.4 million but did better in international markets, while Lionsgate and Alcon Entertainment’s pregnancy plot “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” was orphaned by ticket buyers, with sales of a paltry $10.5 million, well below expectations.

As for the “Battleship” headlines, here are a few of the cruelest:

‘Battleship’ Capsizes with $25 Million Launch

‘Battleship Sinks, ‘Dictator’ Drowns

‘Battleship’ Fires Blanks

‘The Avengers’ Torpedoes ‘Battleship’

‘Battleship’ Pulls Up Lame at Box Office


Box office: 'Avengers' helps sink 'Battleship'

'Avengers' final opening weekend tally: $207.4 million

'Battleship' keeps Taylor Kitsch afloat after 'John Carter' debacle

--John Horn

Photo of Rihanna in "Battleship." Credit: Universal Pictures.





'Battleship' propelled by action cliches, early reviews say

April 13, 2012 |  5:00 am

Battleship, a board game with no characters or plot, might seem like odd source material for a movie. Then again, recent blockbuster franchises have sprouted from toy lines ("Transformers," "G.I. Joe") and a theme park ride ("Pirates of the Caribbean"), so perhaps it's not much of a stretch. Early reviews of "Battleship," which opens in some foreign countries this week and May 18 in the U.S., indicate that although the film does indeed offer some semblance of a narrative (briefly: humans vs. aliens on the high seas), the storytelling takes a back seat to the explosions.

In the Birmingham (England) Post, Alison Jones says director Peter Berg is channeling Michael Bay, and she characterizes "Battleship" as "'Pearl Harbor' by way of 'Transformers.'" Jones adds that "No action movie cliche remains unmilked in a movie so jingoistic it practically bleeds red, white and blue." Berg, however, does have a sense of humor, and "his decision to just embrace the machismo" earns the film some bonus points in her opinion.

MSN Movies UK also invokes the ghost of action movies past, calling Berg's film "a long, loud and very spectacular actioner that does on the sea what 'Independence Day' did in the skies." But because the film has "an obsession with artillery," most of the characters fall flat: "it's hardly surprising that 'John Carter's' Taylor Kitsch gets lost in the crush as a disgraced officer shocked to find himself in charge of the human resistance." At least pop singer Rihanna has fun as "a spunky munitions ace."

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