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Full Version: Battleship and other movie bombs
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Why did they bomb in the theatre?
Not enough people bought tickets. Smile

It's easy to say "well, they were poorly made (or written, or acted, or directed) ...." but I'm not sure that ticket-buying public knows the difference.
I think "Battleship" may have been tainted by an overlarge budget and following in the footsteps of "John Carter".

But let's face it -- it really does come down to "not enough people bought tickets". A few movies have blown away the $600 million theoretical break-even threshold that "John Carter" needed to reach in its box office gross. So it's doable but unlikely.
It makes you wonder why take the risk if there is an unlikely risk. They should have expect losses since it is too hard to reach a break- even point.
It goes back and forth. They get cautious... and then Cameron comes along with Avatar, or something like G.I. Joe or Transformers does well without particularly good reviews. It's been a problem since the days of the silents - one film maker (or group of artists, i.e.a good director with a good cast, working from a good script, funded/led by a good producer) make a ton of money with something, so every other studio tried to replicate that... and they all bomb and lose money. And they think the idea has lost its novelty or appeal...but then someone else will do something even more derivative, and make a fortune with it, and the cycle starts again.

There's always a huge risk, and a lot of unpredictable variables. But it's like sports - on any given day, half the teams playing are guaranteed to lose no matter how good they are... but they go ahead and play anyway.
Well, maybe one of the problems with "Battleship" (besides the huge budget) was that a lot of people had trouble getting their heads around the concept. Back when the game was first introduced in the 1960s. There had been earlier models for the game going back to the 1890s; but the 1960s were still a huge boom period for "World War II movies", a genre that is filled with naval battles and big ships. There were even some post-WWII movies based on naval adventures and ideas (including "Yours, Mine, and Ours").

Battleship imagery was thus well-entrenched in the public mindset when the game came out. But the old battleships had by that time started hitting the mothball fleet. The Reagan administration brought four battleships back in the 1980s to increase the image of American seapower but they struggled to find meaningful roles for the ships in major missions around the world. Aircraft carriers by that time had proven their superiority to battleship tactics and logistics; and submarines were the only other ships really capable of carrying war beyond a nation's defensive waters. Almost every other ship in our fleet was used either to protect carriers or to resupply the carrier groups or to move supplies and troops between military installations around the world.

Hence, we no longer celebrate the power and mastery of the battleship so there wasn't much of a public emotional anchor for the concept. I don't know how popular the game remains but it's clearly not support by recent military traditions and expeditions.
I suppose this is true, though I would have liked to see the Battleship Flagg take on a Cobra battleship.
Hm. I'm sure someone will try to get another "G.I. Joe" movie made. I'm not sure if the current franchise will sustain itself. According to IMDB "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" cost $130 million to make. According to Box Office Mojo the film grossed $371 million worldwide so it seems to have been profitable. But when I watched it on cable I thought it was not as good as the first.