Peter Berg is having a hard time living down his 2012 box office flop Battleship. According to the director, the lack of a big marquee star essentially sunk the ship.
Universal Picture’s $200 million sci-fi flick wasn’t a very big success with moviegoers when it landed in theaters last year. The picture’s box office tally stalled at a disappointing $65 million. Although the movie ended up making over $300 million worldwide, it wasn’t exactly the high point of Berg’s career.
The Battleship director recently discussed what went wrong during a chat with The New York Times Magazine. Peter Berg told the publication that he attempted to achieve the same level of success without someone like Will Smith in the lead role. He believes this ultimately killed the film.
“I felt I had a new understanding of what went into making a blockbuster. I got a taste of a film’s global power. But I discounted the effect of Will Smith on Hancock’s success. I thought I could pull off Battleship without a big star,” the filmmaker explained.
Battleship’s special effects were so expensive that Peter Berg couldn’t afford an A-list star to tackle the lead role. Although they might be talented, it takes more than Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, and Rihanna to get people to pay theater prices.
On the other hand, his 2008 superhero flick Hancock was a pretty big hit with audiences. However, it’s hard to tell if it was the story or the star that convinced moviegoers to take a chance on the flick. The film amassed approximately $624 million by the time its theatrical run came to an end.
Berg admitted that the 2012 box office flop may have hurt his career a little. He also mentioned that he doesn’t plan to tackle something quite so expensive at any point in the future. The director’s next movie, the Mark Wahlberg action vehicle Lone Survivor, hits theaters early next year.
Are you a fan of Peter Berg? Do you think Battleship would have been more successful if someone like Will Smith had agreed to star in the film?