The year's first big box office bomb has already dropped in Disney's John Carter, and prognosticators think the board-game-inspired alien invasion flick Battleship could be the next to crash and burn—mostly because of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Battleship, which opened today in the U.S., has already been playing for several weeks internationally, netting a respectable $220 million up to this point. But buzz shows the North American opening could be "soft," to put it nicely. Midnight showings for Battleship were bad—like, really bad—which may not bode well for its weekend haul.
"It opened with only $420K midnights from 1,074 theaters: that's weaker than Warner Bros' underperforming Dark Shadows last weekend and even Disney's notorious 2012 bomb John Carter," Deadline's Nikki Finke wrote. "Universal cautions that 'both of those films have a bigger geek base' whereas the strength of Peter Berg's military vs. aliens actioner is 'that it's the anti-geek, anti-midnight movie of all time.'"
That basically means they hope it will appeal to Average Joe Moviegoer to make up the shortfall.
The biggest problem of all? Marvel's juggernaut The Avengers is still doing gangbusters in the U.S., and a lot of folks might prefer to watch it a second (or third, or fourth) time instead of taking a chance to check out Battleship. The Avengers has already made $1 billion worldwide, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
So, more than anything, Battleship could be the victim of a heaping dose of really bad timing. If so, you've got to feel bad for John Carter and Battleship star Taylor Kitsch—that dude just can't catch a break.
Sound off: Will you be checking out Battleship this weekend?