The movie industry is an expensive and unpredictable business. A movie that cost a country's wealth to make could completely bomb at the box office (Waterworld, anyone?) and on the flip-side, a movie that costs next-to-nothing (at least in movie money terms) could go on to make a fortune (Paranormal Activity, anyone?).
Even if a project has a pre-established brand name to build anticipation off of, it's still not a sure bet that it will make its money back, never mind break any records.
Such is the case with Battleship, the upcoming big-budget adaptation of the classic board-game. The film has director Peter Berg at the helm and has such stars as Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Tom Arnold and even pop star Rihanna. It has invading aliens as the enemy (big trend in movies these days) and a budget James Cameron would (just about) be content with.
However, the budget is just what some people are worried about. Heat Vision has a report that says Battleship has a budget of about $200 million. "So what?" you might ask, "lots of movies now cost that amount of money and still manage to make tons more." And you wouldn't be entirely wrong in thinking that way. However, there are a couple of things specific to Battleship that make these worries (somewhat) justified:
- First off, the film doesn't have director who's a household name. Yes, Berg has directed some well-known and popular movies - Hancock, The Rundown (a.k.a Welcome to the Jungle), The Kingdom - but people don't know him by name. Also, those movies all had big name stars to draw audiences (Will Smith, The Rock, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, etc.) whereas the biggest star that Battleship has in its arsenal thus far is Rihanna who, let me remind you, is a POP STAR and not an actress (this will be her first movie).
- Second, despite the assumption that Battleship will draw audiences based on name recognition, some studio execs are questioning whether audiences are tired of movies based on pre-existing products.
Regarding point #2 - Is that truly the case? Are you sick of seeing movies based on something that already exists? We all know the amount of board and video game movies, remakes, reboots and "new adaptations" that are in the works, from Battleship to Asteroids and even freaking View-Master (seriously). It won't be long before we see remakes and reboots of all THOSE movies!
I can just picture it now: On the marquee at your local theater: "THEATER 1 - Battleship. THEATER 2 - Battleship: Reborn"
As chairman of Universal, Adam Fogelsen, told Heat Vision - "It's a big bet like many, many big bets from many studios." And despite $200 million being nothing to sneeze at, we have to remember that Battleship is not the priciest flick ever made. "We will be nowhere near the high point and nowhere near the low point of what people are spending."
Still, it's a gamble... isn't it?
Battleship is scheduled to start shooting in Hawaii in a couple of weeks and has a release date of May 25th, 2012.
Source: Heat Vision