Remember Battleship? Yes, the film adaptation of the widely popular board game of the same name [but with aliens, for some reason – Ed.]. About a year ago, the science fiction movie was hoping to capture a bit of that Transformers box office and become one of the biggest hits of the summer. Audiences had other plans: not watching Battleship. The film tanked at the box office, grossing only $65.4 million domestically, against a $209 million production budget. (The film did much better overseas, bringing in $301 million worldwide.) Director Peter Berg’s previous film, Hancock, grossed $624.3 million worldwide, in spite of negative reviews. So why did Battleship fail to bring in American audiences?
According to Berg, it had nothing to do with the quality of the film, but rather that it didn’t star a recognizable and bankable movie star like Hancock‘s Will Smith. Berg believes that if Battleship had starred a bigger name, it would’ve been a more successful movie. Berg told the New York Times:
I got a taste of a film’s global power [with Hancock]. But I discounted the effect of Will Smith on Hancock’s success. I thought I could pull off Battleship without a big star … I don’t want to tackle that kind of economic project for quite a while.