There seems to be a bit of a hubbub surrounding Universal’s move to launch Battleship overseas first, but let’s be honest and say this is nothing that we have not seen before. Usually a film gets more free press at launch if they have foreign and domestic reports going hand-in-hand which is particularly the case with blockbusters since the numbers tend to get to impressive levels; however, the latest Peter Berg-directed effort passed on the strategy as its May 18th North American launch is right in the heat of blockbuster season competing against the likes of Avengers and Men in Black III. In other words, the studio would rather not compete against these offerings on the international level which would likely be where this movie makes the bulk of its money.
With that being said, the film grossed $58 million over the weekend after opening in 26 markets. More markets are set to come online very soon include China and Russia, so this is a somewhat misleading figure when comparing it to your typical 50+ market debut. Ultimately though, analysts can derive that this opening will translate into $300 million non-domestic revenue which could mean as little as $100 million domestically if current foreign/domestic trends prove relevant. This would be a huge blow for the studio as they paid over $200 million on what they thought could potentially be ‘the next Transformers.’
This does however mean that the movie will not be a John Carter-like flop which is good for Taylor Kitsch’s career which would likely have not survived another dud on that scale. Since releasing in mid-March, the actor’s Disney film has grossed $270 million worldwide–an awful figure considering the studio spent north of $350 million to make and market the Andrew Stanton-directed project.