Battleship (film)

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Battleship Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Peter Berg
Produced by
Written by
  • Jon Hoeber
  • Erich Hoeber
Based on Battleship 
by Hasbro
Music by Steve Jablonsky[1]
Cinematography Tobias A. Schliessler
Edited by
  • Colby Parker Jr.
  • Billy Rich
  • Paul Rubell
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • April 3, 2012 (2012-04-03) (Tokyo, Premiere)
  • May 18, 2012 (2012-05-18) (United States)
Running time
131 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $220 million[3]
Box office $303 million[2]

Battleship is a 2012 American military science fiction action-war film loosely inspired by the classic board game. The film was directed by Peter Berg and released by Universal Pictures (a wholly owned subsidiary of NBCUniversal). It was also the only Hasbro property to be produced in association with Dentsu Inc., which left NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan before being spun off as a separate company in February 17, 2014. The film stars Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, John Tui, Brooklyn Decker and Tadanobu Asano.

The film was originally planned to be released in 2011, but was rescheduled to April 11, 2012, in the United Kingdom and May 18, 2012, in the United States.[4] The film's world premiere was in Tokyo, Japan, on April 3, 2012.


In 2005, scientists discover an extrasolar planet, which they name Planet G, with conditions similar to Earth. In 2006 NASA transmits a powerful signal from a communications array in Hawaii. Meanwhile, slacker Alex Hopper gets arrested while attempting to impress Sam Shane, daughter of U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Terrance Shane. Stone Hopper, Alex's older brother and a naval officer, is infuriated at Alex's lack of motivation and forces Alex to join him in the U.S. Navy.

By the present day in the year 2012, Alex is a hothead and disrespectful lieutenant and tactical action officer aboard the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John Paul Jones, while Stone is a commander and the commanding officer of USS Sampson. Alex is in a relationship with Sam and is in danger of being discharged from the Navy. Their ships join the 2012 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in Hawaii.

During the exercises five alien spacecraft arrive in response to the NASA signal. Their communications ship collides with a satellite, scattering debris across the planet and crashing in Hong Kong, causing heavy damage and casualties, while the four others land in the water near Hawaii. Sampson, John Paul Jones, and the JMSDF Kongō class destroyer Myōkō investigate. Alex, Raikes, and Beast are sent to investigate, but when Alex approaches, the alien mothership reacts and creates a force field that traps the three warships. The Navy issues a blast from a fog horn, which is answered in kind by a sonic blast from one of the alien ships. The Navy fires a warning shot at the alien fleet, which then reevaluates the Earth ships' friend or foe status, changing the monitor color for the Navy ships from green to red. The aliens destroy the Sampson and Myōkō, and damage John Paul Jones, killing the commanding and executive officers. Alex sees his brother die and returns to his ship, where he is forced to take command, albeit reluctantly and to the disbelief of the crew, as the most senior officer left on the ship. Enraged, Alex orders an attack, but Beast manages to convince him to recover the survivors from Myōkō, including Captain Nagato, with whom Alex is in a rivalry. The alien ships send weapons to the islands that destroy the military equipment and island infrastructure, killing a large number of civilians when they destroy the freeway leading to a military base.

In Oahu, Sam, a physical therapist, is accompanying retired U.S. Army veteran and double amputee Mick Canales, on a mountain hike to help him adapt to his prosthetic legs. Sam and Mick run into some police officers who order them off the mountain. The cops head up the mountain and are ambushed and killed by aliens. Later, Sam and Mick run into scientist Cal Zapata, who works at the communications array and informs them that the aliens have killed his grad student and taken over the communications array, and they realize that the aliens are using it to signal back to their home planet.

At sea, naval personnel capture an alien from the communications ship who is unconscious. The alien attacks Alex when startled by a bright light and establishes a mind meld with him, showing him how the aliens have attacked and conquered other planets. After other aliens arrive to retrieve it, a further one infiltrates the ship, but Alex kills it by tricking it into the firing line of a 5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun. On the John Paul Jones and thanks to the briefly captured alien, Ordy is able to determine that the aliens are sensitive to sunlight. However, they face difficulty because the alien force field has disabled radar functions. Nagata suggests using NOAA's tsunami warning buoys around Hawaii to track the aliens as he has been using it to track other countries' ships for every RIMPAC game.

Ashore, Mick forces Zapata to retrieve a spectrum analyzer that allows Sam and Mick to contact the John Paul Jones and relay that the satellite used by the communications array will be in position in four hours and that the aliens will be able use it to contact their planet. Zapata manages to take the analyzer, and, though he is temporarily caught by an alien, successfully escape.

During a night battle, the John Paul Jones sinks two alien ships but is unable to hit the evasively maneuvering third. Alex decides to lure the third alien vessel close to shore at dawn, where he and Nagata shoot out its bridge windows as the sunrise blinds the aliens. John Paul Jones destroys the last alien escort vessel only to fall prey to their mothership's long range weapons. The crew abandon ship as the John Paul Jones is destroyed by these weapons and sunk.

Realizing the aliens are attempting to contact a larger invasion fleet, Alex and the survivors of the John Paul Jones and Myōkō return to Pearl Harbor and assume command of USS Missouri, a decommissioned battleship turned into a museum ship. They reactivate the battleship with the aid of the retired veterans preserving her, but they end up coming face to face with the alien mothership. In the ensuing battle, the Missouri's 16-inch main guns severely damage the alien mothership, destroying its force field in process. Meanwhile, Mick, Sam and Zapata distract the aliens to buy the Missouri more time. Alex uses the last shell to destroy the communications array on the island, leaving the Missouri defenseless. With the force field down, Admiral Shane scrambles the fleet and Australian F/A-18 fighters from the RIMPAC fleet, who arrive and save the crew by eliminating the alien threat.

A ceremony is held to honor the Navy personnel, where Alex is promoted to lieutenant commander. He is presented with a Silver Star and also accepts Stone's posthumous Navy Cross. After the ceremony, Alex is given an offer to become a Navy SEAL, and then asks Admiral Shane for his daughter's hand in marriage. The admiral initially refuses but invites Alex to lunch to discuss the matter, referencing how Alex and Sam met.

In a post-credits scene, three teenagers and a handyman in Scotland discover a crashed alien pod. When they open it, an alien hand reaches out, and they run off in terror.



Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker and Peter Berg promoting the film at WonderCon 2012.

Battleship was to begin filming in Australia's Gold Coast in 2010, but the production company changed location due to a lack of Australian government tax incentives and a high estimated budget of $209 million.[5]

Filming took place in the United States on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Oahu, as well as in Sherman Oaks, California to do a few apartment scenes and in Playa del Rey, California where they filmed a driving scene along with a shootout.[6] Some scenes were also filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[7]

The Science & Entertainment Exchange provided science consultation for the film.[8]

A Kongō-class destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force also appeared in the film.[9]


Jeremy Renner was originally considered for the role of Hopper, but the actor chose to star in a Paul Thomas Anderson drama filming at roughly the same time.[10][11] In April 2010, it was reported that Taylor Kitsch had been cast as Alex Hopper,[11][12] Alexander Skarsgård played his brother Stone Hopper, Brooklyn Decker stars as Sam, Hopper's fiancee and Liam Neeson as Admiral Shane, Sam's father and Hopper's superior officer.[13][14] Barbadian R&B singer Rihanna makes her acting debut in the film, as a sailor.[15] In an interview with GQ, Berg explained how he came up with the idea to cast her. He realized she could act after seeing her 2009 interview about the Chris Brown assault on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer during which he found her "intelligent and articulate", and her appearance on Saturday Night Live.[16] She accepted the role because she wanted "to do something badass" and also because it wasn't a role too big for her to play.[17] Tadanobu Asano also has a role in the film as the commander of a Japanese Kongō-class destroyer. Double amputee U.S. Army Colonel Gregory Gadson, who had never acted before, plays LTC Mick Canales.[18] He was cast after Berg saw a picture of him in the National Geographic Magazine.[19]

The film marks the reunion between former co-stars Kitsch and Jesse Plemons, who previously worked together on Berg's TV series Friday Night Lights. Berg said he loves working with friends and explained he knew how comfortable Kitsch was with Plemons, "I know that he’s really good for Taylor and he makes Taylor better. So, I wrote that whole part for Jesse." He added, "I never thought of it as a Friday Night Lights reunion. I thought of it as protection, bringing a trusted family member in."[20]

U.S. Navy sailors were used as extras in various parts of this film. Sailors from assorted commands in Navy Region Hawaii assisted with line handling to take Missouri in and out of port for a day of shooting in mid 2010. A few months later, the production team put out a casting call for sailors stationed at various sea commands at Naval Station Mayport, Florida to serve as extras.[21] Sailors were also taken from various ships stationed at Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida: USS Hué City, USS Carney and USS Vicksburg were some of the ships that provided sailors.[22]


Soundtrack album by Steve Jablonsky
Released May 8, 2012
Genre Film score
Length 77:28
Label Varèse Sarabande
Producer Hans Zimmer

Due to his success with the Transformers franchise, composer Steve Jablonsky was chosen to score the official soundtrack. The soundtrack features original compositions from Jablonsky and features rock guitarist Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine. Director Peter Berg stated:

"Working with composers often is a really frustrating experience because you speak a different language and, oftentimes, they take two or three jobs, at the same time. They're difficult and pretentious and they're tormented artists. I'm not going to name names, but most of them are. One guy who isn't is Hans Zimmer, who taught Steve Jablonsky. We had a couple of meetings and I came up with this idea. The day I met with him, I had had an MRI for my neck, and they make that really scary sound. I was like, "I just had this MRI, and when I was in there, I was thinking about the aliens, and it was really scary." And he was like, "Oh, that's awesome!" He went and recorded MRIs and made music out of MRIs, and that's the theme of the aliens in our film. He is no drama, and just goes and gets it done. The score is big and awesome and scary and driving. At times, it's very simple and acoustic and touching and emotional. He's the best I've ever worked with."[23]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Steve Jablonsky except where noted.

Battleship: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "First Transmission"   3:19
2. "The Art of War"   4:33
3. "Full Attack"   3:55
4. "You're Going to the Navy"   1:04
5. "The Beacon Project"   5:09
6. "Objects Make Impact"   4:40
7. "First Contact, Part I"   1:53
8. "First Contact, Part II"   2:10
9. "It's Your Ship Now"   4:05
10. "Shredders"   4:07
11. "Regents Are on the Mainland"   2:44
12. "Trying to Communicate"   3:17
13. "Water Displacement"   2:20
14. "Buoy Grid Battle"   3:05
15. "USS John Paul Jones"   2:25
16. "We Have a Battleship"   2:51
17. "Somebody's Gonna Kiss the Donkey"   4:35
18. "Super Battle" (composed by Tom Morello) 1:34
19. "Thug Fight" (featuring Tom Morello) 3:31
20. "Battle on Land and Sea"   2:50
21. "Silver Star"   1:56
22. "The Aliens"   4:20
23. "Planet G"   4:01
24. "Hopper"   3:15
Total length:


Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna and Brooklyn Decker at the Battleship Australian premiere in April 2012.

The film's world premiere took place in Tokyo on April 3, 2012. The event was attended by director Peter Berg, actors Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgård and Rihanna. Later on they initiated a Press Tour visiting Madrid, London and Cartagena de Indias to promote the film.

Box office[edit]

The film earned $303,025,485, of which $65,422,625 was in North America.[24]

The film opened outside North America on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, more than five weeks before its North America release, earning $7.4 million.[25] Through Friday, April 13, the film had earned a 3-day total of $25 million.[26] By the end of its opening weekend, it earned $55.2 million from 26 markets, ranking second behind the 3D re-release of Titanic.[27]

However, on its second weekend, it topped the box office outside North America, with $60 million.[28] In South Korea, it achieved the highest-grossing opening day for a non-sequel and the third-highest overall ($2.8 million).[26] In comparison to other Hasbro films, Battleship '​s opening in the UK (£3.76 million) was behind the first Transformers (£8.72 million), but did better than G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (£1.71 million).[29]

In North America, Battleship grossed $8.8 million on its opening day (Friday, May 18, 2012), with $420,000 originating from midnight showings,[30] and finished the weekend with $25.5 million. It settled in second place for its opening day and opening weekend behind Marvel's The Avengers.[31][32][33] Its opening weekend grosses were well below the anticipated $35–$40 million range that Universal and director Peter Berg were hoping for.[34]

Critical reception[edit]

The film has received generally negative reviews from critics. Metacritic has given the film an average score of 41 out of 100 based on 39 reviews.[35] Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 34% based on reviews from 208 critics, with a rating average of 4.6 out of 10. The site's consensus reads: "It may offer energetic escapism for less demanding filmgoers, but Battleship is too loud, poorly written, and formulaic to justify its expense -- and a lot less fun than its source material."[36]

Megan Lehmann of The Hollywood Reporter thought that the "impressive visual effects and director Peter Berg's epic set pieces fight against an armada of cinematic clichés and some truly awful dialogue."[37] Empire magazine's Nick de Semlyen felt there was a lack of character development and memorable action shots, and sums up his review of the movie in one word: "Miss."[38]

Many reviews panned the "based on a board game" concept driving the film, although some, such as Jason Di Rosso from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National, claimed the ridiculousness of the setup is "either sheer joy or pure hell – depending on how seriously you take it", while de Semlyen "had to admire [the film's creators] jumping through hoops to engineer a sequence that replicates the board game."[38][39][40] Several compared the film to Michael Bay's Transformers film series in terms of quality and cinematic style, with Giles Hardie of The Sydney Morning Herald claiming that the movie "finds the same balance between action-packed imagination and not taking the premise seriously that made Michael Bay's original Transformers such a joyride."[37][39] Andrew Harrison of Q magazine called the film "crushingly stupid".[41] Film critic Kenneth Turan, in a review written for the Los Angeles Times, also expressed disappointment, criticizing the film's "humanoid aliens", stating that they are "as ungainly as the movie itself, clunking around in awkward, protective suits." He called the content "all very earnest", but added "it's not a whole lot of fun".[42]

Other critics were less harsh for Battleship: Writing for Time, Steven James Snyder was somewhat positive because he had low expectations of the film. He wrote, "The creative team behind this ocean-bound thriller decided to fill the narrative black hole with a few ingredients all but absent from today’s summer tent poles – namely mystery, nostalgia and a healthy dose of humility" and described it as "an unlikely mix of Independence Day, Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park and The Hunt for Red October".[43] Giving it a B+ grade, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly said, "For every line of howler dialogue that should have been sunk, there's a nice little scene in which humans have to make a difficult decision. For every stretch of generic sci-fi-via-CGI moviemaking, there's a welcome bit of wit."[44] The Washington Post gave the film a three-star rating out of four commenting it is "an invigorating blast of cinematic adrenaline".[45] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2½ stars out of 4, praising the climax as "an honest-to-God third act, instead of just settling for nonstop fireballs and explosions, as Bay likes to do. I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's say the Greatest Generation still has the right stuff and leave it at that."[46]


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
Annie Awards[47] Best Animated Effects in a Live Action Production Willi Geiger, Rick Hankins, Florent Andorra, Florian Witzel, Aron Bonar Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards[48] Best Sound Editing
Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot
Houston Film Critics Society[49] Worst Film
Golden Raspberry Awards[50][51] Worst Picture
Worst Director Peter Berg
Worst Supporting Actor Liam Neeson
Worst Supporting Actress Brooklyn Decker
Rihanna Won
Worst Screenplay Jon Hoeber and Eric Hoeber Nominated
Worst Screen Ensemble
Saturn Awards[52] Best Special Effects Grady Cofer, Pablo Helman, Jeanie King and Burt Dalton Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[53] Choice Movie Breakout Rihanna Won
Visual Effects Society[54] Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Film Battleship Nominated
Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

Home media[edit]

Battleship was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc on August 20, 2012 in the United Kingdom,[55] and on August 28 in the United States and Canada.[56]

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the film, titled Battleship: The Video Game, was released on May 15, 2012 to coincide with the film's international release. The game was published by Activision and developed by Double Helix Games for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360, and developed by Magic Pockets for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS.

Board game[edit]

Hasbro released several new editions of the classic board game, including an update to the regular fleet-vs.-fleet game and a "movie edition", featuring the alien vessels and a card-based play mode.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Steve Jablonsky Confirmed to Score ‘Battleship'". Film Music Reporter. May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Box Office Mojo (2012-03-13). "‘Box Office Mojo Movie Gross"". Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ John Gaudiosi (May 30, 2012). "$220 Million Battleship Flop Sinks Not Only Universal Pictures, But Activision Game". Forbes. Retrieved December 27, 2014. Universal Pictures reported a $220 million production cost (unadjusted) excluding advertising budget. 
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  5. ^ "$100m Film Deal Sunk". March 27, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  6. ^ Holcombe, Jeremy (September 8, 2010). "First Pictures of Rihanna and Taylor Kitsch on Hawaii Battleship Set". Aloha Update. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
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  8. ^ "Recent Projects". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  9. ^ Kyle Mizokami (July 27, 2011). "MSDF in New Hollywood Film, "BATTLESHIP"". New Pacific Institute Project. 
  10. ^ Rosenberg, Adam (February 18, 2012). "'The Hurt Locker' Star Jeremy Renner In Talks For 'Battleship,' Edgar Allen[sic] Poe's Last Days Thriller". MTV. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Taylor Kitsch to Star in 'Battleship' Film (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. April 4, 2010. Archived from the original on August 1, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010. [dead link]
  12. ^ Winning, Josh (April 8, 2010). "Taylor Kitsch boards Battleship movie". Total Film. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
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  16. ^ Berg, Peter (April 4, 2012). "Why I cast Rihanna in Battleship". GQ. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
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  19. ^ "Pete Berg Interview". View London. p. 2. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  20. ^ Radish, Christina (March 19, 2012). "Brooklyn Decker and Director Peter Berg Talk BATTLESHIP, Naval Warfare and the Design of the Aliens at WonderCon". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  21. ^ Gordon, Mike (November 11, 2011). "Whatever the plot, Missouri has big role in 'Battleship'". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  22. ^ Klimas, Jacqueline (May 15, 2012). "Sailors vs. aliens: ‘Battleship’ debuts Friday". Navy Times. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Brooklyn Decker and Director Peter Berg Talk BATTLESHIP, Naval Warfare and the Design of the Aliens at WonderCon". Collider. March 19, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Battleship (2012) - International Box Office Results". Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  25. ^ Finke, Nikki (March 13, 2012). "‘Battleship’ Builds $25M Foreign War Chest". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  26. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (March 14, 2012). "Box Office Report: 'Hunger Games' Edges Out 'Three Stooges,' 'Cabin in the Woods'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ Segers, Frank (March 15, 2012). "Foreign Box Office: 'Titanic 3D' Unsinkable No. 1 Overseas After Sensational China Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  28. ^ Subers, Ray (April 24, 2012). "Around-the-World Roundup: 'Battleship' Sinks 'Titanic'". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  29. ^ Gant, Charles (April 17, 2012). "Battleship cruises to top of UK box office charts". The Guardian. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  30. ^ Finke, Nikki. "BOMBS AWAY! ‘Battleship’ Sinks To $25.3M Torpedoed By Still Strong ‘Avengers’; Lame ‘What To Expect’ Behind Limp ‘The Dictator’". Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  31. ^ Subers, Ray. "Weekend Report: 'Battleship' Drowns Under Weight of 'Avengers'". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Box Office Report: 'Battleship' Torpedoed With $9.1 Million Friday". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  33. ^ Young, John. "Box office report: 'The Avengers' crushes 'Battleship' and 'The Dictator' with $55.1 mil". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
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  42. ^ Turan, Kenneth. "Movie review: Aliens can have this 'Battleship'". L.A. Times. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
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  44. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa (May 16, 2012). "Battleship Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  45. ^ Righthand, Jess (May 18, 2012). "‘Battleship’ and more new movies". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  46. ^ Ebert, Roger (May 16, 2012). "Battleship". Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
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  51. ^ Daniels, Colin (February 24, 2013). "Twilight Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Kristen Stewart, Rihanna win Razzies". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  52. ^ "39th Annual Saturn Awards". Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Archived from the original on February 20, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  53. ^ "Teen Choice Awards Winners 2012: 'Twilight,' 'The Vampire Diaries,' Justin Bieber Win Big". The Huffington Post. June 23, 2012. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  54. ^ Scott, Mike (January 8, 2013). "Baton Rouge-shot 'Battleship' nominated for visual effects award; plus more movie briefs". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
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External links[edit]