June 26 2012

Battleship Director Blames The Avengers for His Film’s Poor Performance

Battleship teaser posterNo one in the world likes admitting they messed up at their job, but Peter Berg is taking it to a new level.

Peter Berg, the director of Battleship, spoke with MTV about the possibility of a sequel to his board game movie.

Battleship is a film that I would definitely like to do a sequel to. I loved making that film. I had a great time with it. The movie kicked butt internationally, but we kind of ran into a wall when Avengers refused to go away. So what I need everyone to do is go see Battleship now that they’ve seen Avengers five times. If they do that, we can definitely make a sequel.

He went on to add how he felt his movie would have done if The Avengers had not been in theaters at the time.

I would have loved to have come out three weeks before The Avengers domestically, like we did internationally,” said Berg. “The Avengers outperformed everything. It was impossible for Battleship to get any oxygen. We did OK, but in hindsight, which my grandmother used to say is worth about a bucket of spit, we would have [released the movie] ahead of The Avengers, not realizing it would have become, I think, the second biggest film in history behind Avatar.

What he is referring to is that Battleship has done $235,600,000 in the foreign markets, but only $63,190,105 for a total of $298,790,105 worldwide off of a $209 million budget.

Where Mr. Berg’s argument falls short is when you consider Disney’s recent box office bomb, John Carter.  That film grossed $209,700,000 foreign, but only $73,058,679 domestic for a total of $282,758,679 off of a $250 million dollar budget.  That movie wasn’t contending with The Avengers, but as I noted before suffered from horrible marketing. Battleship suffered from the fact that the idea had been circulating around Hollywood since 2009 and pretty much everyone who got wind of it went, “They’re making a movie out of what?”

Foreign performance is no longer a strong indicator of how a film will perform domestically, and you must also remember that is spread out over multiple territories around the world.  Just because a film does well in the foreign markets – which also cost the studios extra due to how the distribution models work –  doesn’t really mean squat for the U.S. release.

The other problem?  Your movie had horrible reviews.  Out of 192 reviews tabulated, 128 of them gave the movie a negative rating on Rotten Tomatoes, giving it a “Fresh Score” of 33%.  In other words, the majority of reviews thought it sucked.

So, make whatever excuses you like, Peter, but any way you slice it, your movie flopped, and with apparently good reason.

[source MTV, hat tip to WinExtra]

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