And you thought “John Carter” was a bust. After four weeks of release, “Battleship” has grossed just $59.8 million in North America, nearly $7 million less than “John Carter” had earned after its fourth weekend earlier this year. That puts the Peter Berg film on the unfortunate track of grossing less domestically than the derided “Carter,” an ignominy that director sees as a learning experience.
“I have a movie in theaters right now which has obviously underperformed in many ways,” Berg said at the Produced By conference on Sunday. “When [a movie] doesn’t work, it’s an … interesting opportunity to look at what went wrong and how it went wrong.”
Produced By, which is hosted by the Producers Guild of America, is an event where some of the biggest players in Hollywood get together to discuss the temperature of the industry. Per TheWrap, Berg was speaking at a panel titled “Passion Projects: Making Films Everyone Says Will Never Get Made.”
“It was a movie that I tried as hard as I could to get inside of,” Berg said. “But the concept is so big and powerful, and the money is so big and so powerful, that the movie is going to run away with itself.”
Berg, who called working on “Battleship” an “eye-opener,” has a close connection to the film. HIs father was a naval historian and he made sure to use real military veterans in key roles.
“I wanted to do a Navy film and I’m thinking, right now, in our business, there are these huge movies that are getting made — I wanted to make one of these big ‘super movies,’” he told Moviefone earlier this year about his decision to direct “Battleship.” “I thought, ‘What if I create an adventure story around something as simple as ‘Battleship’?'”
If only it ended up being that simple.
“Battleship,” which is actually closing in on $300 million in total ticket sales worldwide despite indifference in America, is out in theaters now.