WTF Happened to Battleship (2012)?

You sunk my Battleship! That’s probably what the executives at Universal Pictures were thinking the weekend Battleship, Peter Berg’s megabudget adaptation of the board game, opened in theaters. Costing a massive $200 million, Battleship was meant to kick off a franchise, but it landed with a thud both critically and commercially.

One thing that was unfortunate was that star Taylor Kitsch unfairly took a lot of blame, with it one of two back-to-back flops for the unproven lead. Just a few months earlier John Carter has underperformed severely at the box office, and with this he would have the dubious honour of fronting two huge-budget would be franchise starters that tanked. Kitsch would quickly bounce back. While big-screen stardom never really happened for him in the way everyone figured (he was cast in Battleship on the assumption that John Carter would make him a star), he turned in terrific performances in Berg’s own Lone Survivor, the TV series Waco and this week’s The Terminal List.

Also, to be fair to Kitsch, there was a lot about Battleship that didn’t make sense, with them turning the board game, which was all about strategy, into a generic alien invasion thriller. In this episode, we dig into the many things that went wrong, including casting Liam Neeson in a role with no action, killing Alexander Skarsgard in the first act, etc. Not even Rihanna could save this one from a grisly box office fate, as we explain in this week’s WTF Happened to this Movie! This episode is written by Gaius Bolling, edited by Paul Podeyn, and narrated by Matthew Plale. Do you think Battleship is unfairly hated? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.