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Universal sues studio The Asylum over their Battleship rip-off

Apr. 27, 2012by: Alex Maidy

Universal Studios has taken legal action against direct to DVD studio The Asylum over their unauthorized version of BATTLESHIP.

If you are unfamiliar with The Asylum, that likely means your movie taste has some level of quality standards. They are known for churning out fare that is so low budget that it makes SyFy original movies look like AVATAR. They also capitalize on the marketing from major studios to trick renters into checking our their thinly veiled knock-offs. You would have to be a true idiot to confuse TRANSMORPHERS for TRANSFORMERS, but THE TERMINATORS only adds that one letter. They also have made movies called ALMIGHTY THOR and ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS ZOMBIES. Classy people.

Well it seems that Universal, who is likely already a bit concerned about how well BATTLESHIP might perform at the box office, is not liking The Asylum's AMERICAN BATTLESHIP set for release 4 days after BATTLESHIP hits theaters on May 18th. The fact that there has been no significant legal action against The Asylum before this goes to show that other studios were less concerned with the overall performance of the genuine product.

Universal is suing for "unspecified damages" and claims they have sole rights to making the film version of the board game of the same name. It remains to be seen if anything will prevent AMERICAN BATTLESHIPS from hitting Redbox and Netflix on May 22nd.

Extra Tidbit: The Asylum is so cheap, they made a rip off of IRON SKY, which is already a cheap movie to begin with!
Source: TMZ

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+0
9:09PM on 05/15/2012
Apparently Universal may have won or the Asylum may have settled cause this thing is airing this weekend as a SyFy Original Movie "American Warships"
Apparently Universal may have won or the Asylum may have settled cause this thing is airing this weekend as a SyFy Original Movie "American Warships"
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11:11PM on 04/29/2012
Cheap knock-off wins because of Carl Weathers !!

Honestly .... didnt The Asylum win the same legal battle for Transmorphers ( Transformers )

And they have a Lincoln VS Zombies movie ready and Lincoln : Vampire Hunter isnt out yet.

If having porno version of Star Trek , Star War , Adam Family and Jersey Shore is ok with the big studio , i dont see how any of The Asylum 1M$ big budget movie will screw Holywood. Actually they are pretty terrible but do they deserve a lawsuit ? i don't
Cheap knock-off wins because of Carl Weathers !!

Honestly .... didnt The Asylum win the same legal battle for Transmorphers ( Transformers )

And they have a Lincoln VS Zombies movie ready and Lincoln : Vampire Hunter isnt out yet.

If having porno version of Star Trek , Star War , Adam Family and Jersey Shore is ok with the big studio , i dont see how any of The Asylum 1M$ big budget movie will screw Holywood. Actually they are pretty terrible but do they deserve a lawsuit ? i don't think so.
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3:25PM on 04/28/2012

sweet

It looks like Universal may have found a way to make money off this pos.
It looks like Universal may have found a way to make money off this pos.
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+3
11:17AM on 04/28/2012
haha Battleship also isn't out yet in the US? Europe already has Battleship AND The Avengers. Can't wait to see Dark Knight Rises two weeks before you guys can :P
haha Battleship also isn't out yet in the US? Europe already has Battleship AND The Avengers. Can't wait to see Dark Knight Rises two weeks before you guys can :P
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12:48PM on 04/28/2012
Oh no! It's not like they leak online and are viewable via cam views! I already watched The Avengers, or what you guys call it, The Avengers: Assemble (lol), and I'm still seeing it opening weekend. How you like them apples?
Oh no! It's not like they leak online and are viewable via cam views! I already watched The Avengers, or what you guys call it, The Avengers: Assemble (lol), and I'm still seeing it opening weekend. How you like them apples?
1:45PM on 04/28/2012
You got me there. Can't mess with someone who is watching cam versions of movies, that's so badass.
You got me there. Can't mess with someone who is watching cam versions of movies, that's so badass.
4:33AM on 04/30/2012
hey, hey, hey, hey,...... fuck you.
hey, hey, hey, hey,...... fuck you.
10:16AM on 04/28/2012

Wow, polarizing...

Some people think The Asylum should just die forever, and some people think what Asylum is doing is good.

I personally hope The Asylum *NEVER* goes away. Their movies might take the basic concept from these other, more legitimate films, but that's as far as it goes. The plot, the actors, the whole production is DIFFERENT from the actual movie that it "rips off." The only things that are similar are the title and basic idea. There is nothing else that's the same...it would be like KNIGHT AND
Some people think The Asylum should just die forever, and some people think what Asylum is doing is good.

I personally hope The Asylum *NEVER* goes away. Their movies might take the basic concept from these other, more legitimate films, but that's as far as it goes. The plot, the actors, the whole production is DIFFERENT from the actual movie that it "rips off." The only things that are similar are the title and basic idea. There is nothing else that's the same...it would be like KNIGHT AND DAY (Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz) and KILLERS (Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl) battling over who's ripping off who. Hollywood does this type of stuff all the time to each other. Asylum is just another movie producing company making a movie, period. The timing and theme might be coincidental, but they're just following the next big thing, like all those other vampire movies that came after TWILIGHT, or all those wizarding movies that came after HARRY POTTER; and if you want to go even further back, what about GOODFELLAS and BRONX TALE (and the whole Italian mobster genre) that came after THE GODFATHER?

Cool your jets, haters.
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10:12AM on 04/28/2012
I hate everything about Asylum...Grow some balls and use your own worthless imaginations to create something for a change.
I hate everything about Asylum...Grow some balls and use your own worthless imaginations to create something for a change.
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7:47AM on 04/28/2012
Glad to hear it. Piggybacking off a major studio's release to make a knock off of the movie is just lazy
Glad to hear it. Piggybacking off a major studio's release to make a knock off of the movie is just lazy
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+14
5:36AM on 04/28/2012

Go ahead and thumb me down.

When I first heard they were making a film based on the board game Battleship I thought to myself GOODGRIEF. Then I watched the first trailer and thought mmmmeh. Looks ok but nothing special. Then I saw the final trailer and thought hmmmm looks pretty cool. Then my mate dragged me along to it and sorry but I loved it. Yes it won't win any oscars as it was cheesy as hell but it was an absolute blast. The effects were top notch and there was some good comedy in it. I know I'll get thumbed down
When I first heard they were making a film based on the board game Battleship I thought to myself GOODGRIEF. Then I watched the first trailer and thought mmmmeh. Looks ok but nothing special. Then I saw the final trailer and thought hmmmm looks pretty cool. Then my mate dragged me along to it and sorry but I loved it. Yes it won't win any oscars as it was cheesy as hell but it was an absolute blast. The effects were top notch and there was some good comedy in it. I know I'll get thumbed down for having an opinion that differs from the people that have yet to see it or will not see it but I don't really give a fuck. This is for the ones like me that are on the fence and may need a little push.

As for these buggers making trash clones of movies...... Yeah sue their asses.
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8:35AM on 04/28/2012
Nothing to thumb down here. You actually have me wanting to check it out. Thanks!
Nothing to thumb down here. You actually have me wanting to check it out. Thanks!
5:24AM on 04/28/2012
ha,ha! First of all does The Asylum have the money to pay the for the suit?

I'm sure their next project(s) will probably be:

Promethesis
Revengers
Dark Knight Rising
The Amazing Arachnid man
ha,ha! First of all does The Asylum have the money to pay the for the suit?

I'm sure their next project(s) will probably be:

Promethesis
Revengers
Dark Knight Rising
The Amazing Arachnid man
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2:44AM on 04/28/2012

Your point is?

you're mad that a crap movie based on a hasbros game is being copied?

And if I don't recall...call the 'original' movies still make a crapload of money. I have rented a lot of Asylum movies just to see how bad they are. Nothing wrong in that.
you're mad that a crap movie based on a hasbros game is being copied?

And if I don't recall...call the 'original' movies still make a crapload of money. I have rented a lot of Asylum movies just to see how bad they are. Nothing wrong in that.
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1:25AM on 04/28/2012
I hate movies like what the Asylum releases, and Blockbuster are monopolized by them, and my friends keep falling for them.
I hate movies like what the Asylum releases, and Blockbuster are monopolized by them, and my friends keep falling for them.
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1:11AM on 04/28/2012

The Asylum Rules

I love The Asylum. They are the kings of movies so bad that they're great. If anyone watches these movies expecting a good movie then you're missing the point. Carl Weathers?! I'd rather see the Asylums rip off over Rihannas Battleshits.
I love The Asylum. They are the kings of movies so bad that they're great. If anyone watches these movies expecting a good movie then you're missing the point. Carl Weathers?! I'd rather see the Asylums rip off over Rihannas Battleshits.
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8:37AM on 04/28/2012
Thanks for the laugh. Well played!
Thanks for the laugh. Well played!
5:13PM on 04/30/2012
Don't forget Mario Van Peebles! That guy is the shit too!
Don't forget Mario Van Peebles! That guy is the shit too!
+11
12:27AM on 04/28/2012
A friend of mine who worked for these guys for a while said it was the worst production company they've ever worked at. The filmmakers apparently don't care about their product and pay little heed to any filmmaking merit about what they are doing. It's all run of the mill schlock they do for money. You'd think this would be obvious, but I found it a little hard to believe that they care so little about the films they are producing. They also skimp on payment when possible. I'm glad they are
A friend of mine who worked for these guys for a while said it was the worst production company they've ever worked at. The filmmakers apparently don't care about their product and pay little heed to any filmmaking merit about what they are doing. It's all run of the mill schlock they do for money. You'd think this would be obvious, but I found it a little hard to believe that they care so little about the films they are producing. They also skimp on payment when possible. I'm glad they are getting sued. I hope they go bankrupt and close the studio.
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11:06PM on 04/27/2012
Asylum's Sherlock Holmes was actually pretty awesome...
Asylum's Sherlock Holmes was actually pretty awesome...
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10:07PM on 04/27/2012
I hope universal successfully sues them, however I don't think they have much of a case.
Here's a handful of titles the asylum has produce which are quite amusing...
Snakes on a train
Transmorphers
Paranormal entity
The terminators
Universal soldiers
The day the earth stopped
Alien vs hunter
Sunday school musical
The da vinci treasure

God I hope they pay for this!!
I hope universal successfully sues them, however I don't think they have much of a case.
Here's a handful of titles the asylum has produce which are quite amusing...
Snakes on a train
Transmorphers
Paranormal entity
The terminators
Universal soldiers
The day the earth stopped
Alien vs hunter
Sunday school musical
The da vinci treasure

God I hope they pay for this!!
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+9
10:01PM on 04/27/2012
Asylum should get on the Hungry Hungry Hippos bandwagon before it's too late.
Asylum should get on the Hungry Hungry Hippos bandwagon before it's too late.
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+12
6:00PM on 04/27/2012
Its about time asylum got sued for the crap they make and rip off. American battleship is out in my local store here in england and you can buy it for 3 which is probably around $5. and i can confirm its a pile of stinking shit!!
Its about time asylum got sued for the crap they make and rip off. American battleship is out in my local store here in england and you can buy it for 3 which is probably around $5. and i can confirm its a pile of stinking shit!!
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2:48AM on 04/28/2012
and people will watch it and buy it and not see "Battleship" ?
and people will watch it and buy it and not see "Battleship" ?
5:50PM on 04/27/2012
Battleship was a good fun popcorn movie. Its no oscar winner, but had great FX and action.
I must admit, I would be pissed at anyone trying to cash in by using a similar name and premise.
Battleship was a good fun popcorn movie. Its no oscar winner, but had great FX and action.
I must admit, I would be pissed at anyone trying to cash in by using a similar name and premise.
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5:41PM on 04/27/2012
Universal doesn't have much of a case. You can't copyright a premise (in this case being naval vessels fighting aliens). Universal can't sue anyone for making similar themed movies unless the same elements (i.e. characters, plot points, action scenes) are identical which Asylum movies never are. They do make some horrible movies but the actual plots of their movies are nothing like the movies that they copy off of. They simply use similar titles (which you also can't copyright a title unless
Universal doesn't have much of a case. You can't copyright a premise (in this case being naval vessels fighting aliens). Universal can't sue anyone for making similar themed movies unless the same elements (i.e. characters, plot points, action scenes) are identical which Asylum movies never are. They do make some horrible movies but the actual plots of their movies are nothing like the movies that they copy off of. They simply use similar titles (which you also can't copyright a title unless it's trademarked) and marketing to get people to watch their films. While Universal has a right to call their trademarked movie "Battleship" it's not like the premise itself came from the game. Last I knew there were no aliens in Battleship the game. So as long as the Asylum doesn't call their movie "Battleship" then Universal won't have a leg to stand on. That's the reason why the Asylum hasn't been sued before because the other film studios out there already know this and would be pointless.
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5:13PM on 04/27/2012

First off..Universal can't win..

Parody is actually protected under copyright rules.

But what I find funny is that Battleship basically combines elements from many films that are certainly shown in their trailers. Not saying they should be sued but lets face it, this has been done before.
Parody is actually protected under copyright rules.

But what I find funny is that Battleship basically combines elements from many films that are certainly shown in their trailers. Not saying they should be sued but lets face it, this has been done before.
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+16
4:54PM on 04/27/2012
Mario van Peebles and Carl Weathers?! And judging how bad the Universal one looks, I think the Asylum has a winner on their hands.
Mario van Peebles and Carl Weathers?! And judging how bad the Universal one looks, I think the Asylum has a winner on their hands.
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4:52PM on 04/27/2012
Honestly, its about time. These films directly rip off other movies at an attempt to confuse people into buying their movies. They should have been sued long ago.

I'm sure if I went out and made a movie site call JoeBlow.com, and stole this site's design & content with a few minor tweaks, Joblo would sue my ass off. And I would deserve it.
Honestly, its about time. These films directly rip off other movies at an attempt to confuse people into buying their movies. They should have been sued long ago.

I'm sure if I went out and made a movie site call JoeBlow.com, and stole this site's design & content with a few minor tweaks, Joblo would sue my ass off. And I would deserve it.
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5:13PM on 04/27/2012
Im pretty positive Joblo couldn't sue for this example.
Im pretty positive Joblo couldn't sue for this example.
4:49PM on 04/27/2012
I had the extreme misfortune of having watched 45-seconds worth of 'Battle OF Los Angeles' with poor Kel Mitchell. It may indeed be a worse alien invasion movie than Plan 9 from Outer Space.

These scam artists are basically exploiting movie renters (mostly grandparents I'm guessing) into picking up these knock-offs. They have figured out a formula where they can spend X amount of money making the shittiest movie ever and still make a profit because Y number of renters will fall for
I had the extreme misfortune of having watched 45-seconds worth of 'Battle OF Los Angeles' with poor Kel Mitchell. It may indeed be a worse alien invasion movie than Plan 9 from Outer Space.

These scam artists are basically exploiting movie renters (mostly grandparents I'm guessing) into picking up these knock-offs. They have figured out a formula where they can spend X amount of money making the shittiest movie ever and still make a profit because Y number of renters will fall for it.

Sue away.
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-5
4:48PM on 04/27/2012

Ironic

Because I would not have known about this movie if Universal did not file a lawsuit. Fucking greedy idiots.
Because I would not have known about this movie if Universal did not file a lawsuit. Fucking greedy idiots.
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4:47PM on 04/27/2012
I hope Universal enjoys Monopoly money.
I hope Universal enjoys Monopoly money.
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4:49PM on 04/27/2012
Win.
Win.
4:38PM on 04/27/2012
Shut up, Universal. They're just trying to make a buck. They've been ripping off movies for years. No one sees them and no one cares, so just stop getting your fucking panties in a bunch.
Shut up, Universal. They're just trying to make a buck. They've been ripping off movies for years. No one sees them and no one cares, so just stop getting your fucking panties in a bunch.
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4:34PM on 04/27/2012
Fuck I think I'd rather see AMERICAN BATTLESHIP just to see Carl Mother-fuckin' Weathers fightin' aliens again!
Fuck I think I'd rather see AMERICAN BATTLESHIP just to see Carl Mother-fuckin' Weathers fightin' aliens again!
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