If you’ve been paying attention to a bunch of news lately, you’ll see that various Hasbro board game film movies have been the talk of Hollywood. Stretch Armstrong and Candy Land are the most prominent two as of late, landing at Relativity and Sony, respectively. It’s interesting given the fact that in 2008, Universal signed an agreement with Hasbro to develop six games into films. While Battleship is still coming, it turns out that Universal even thinks this business venture is a shitty one at that. So, news has surfaced that the dumping of these projects to other studios is so that Universal can dump Hasbro.
Cinema Blend reported on the dissolution of the deal yesterday, citing that due to critical reception on the initial deal, and the fact that Battleship is becoming a laughing stock just by the title itself, it seems the massive movie studio has finally caught on as to what everyone has been saying about them for years. Universal will be ending the deal with Hasbro two years earlier than the initial agreement set out to be in place for.
Oh wait, there’s a catch.
The site also reports that “The deal [Universal] struck with Hasbro…came with a $5 million penalty for every film they tried to produce but didn’t actually make. Rather than pay that fee for every single dead project, Universal reportedly just paid an “enormous, multi-million dollar penalty” just to get out of a deal.”
Yep, so to be clear: Universal paid an undisclosed amount to counteract what would have been a $25 million dollar penalty. To help put that into perspective, however, Battleship has a budget of $200 million, so ultimately the studio bowed out of a potentially big time loss in terms of revenue for just a small amount of money. Plus, let’s be honest…is Battleship really going to make $200 million at the box office?
One of my favorite articles on the matter this week came from Devin Faraci over at Badass Digest, and he makes a very true point. If Battleship lacked the title it has right now, and wasn’t even attached to the Hasbro board game of the same name, the film would be seen as more than just a joke. People would take it seriously, and would see it as an original science fiction film with Transformers like qualities, but one that would have been made ridiculed of so much. Whether you want to admit it or not, Devin preaches the truth here.
It’ll be interesting going forward how the film is met with reception from audiences. It’s currently competing with What to Expect When You’re Expecting during its weekend released, butThe Avengers could still be so high and mighty that it could simply knock out the competition for weeks to come. Obviously, with Universal opting out of the deal, Battleship is their biggest gamble of the summer. But, will it be one that pays off?
Battleship sinks your destroyer on May 18th.