Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 by Germain Lussier
One stars Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna as Naval Officers trying to save the world from aliens. The other stars Mario Van Peebles and Carl Weathers as Naval Officers trying to save the world from aliens. If those two descriptions sound somewhat interchangeable to you, you aren’t alone. The company behind the former, which obviously is Universal’s upcoming mega-budget blockbuster Battleship, is suing Global Asylum, the company behind the latter, a film called American Battleship. One will be released on thousands of screens May 18. The other will hope to fool thousands of people into believing its the former on DVD shelves May 22. Read more about the situation below.
TMZ exclusively broke the news of the lawsuit, which claims Global Asylum is trying to piggyback off Universal’s ultra-pricey marketing push for Battleship. They also claim American Battleship infringes on their copyright to the boardgame Battleship, which the Universal film is based on. There’s certainly much more to it (the full lawsuit can be read here) but that’s the jist.
Global Asylum responded to Universal’s claim with the following statement found on Deadline:
The Global Asylum has promoted the feature film American Battleship for nearly a year while Universal raised no concerns. The timing of Universal’s recently filed lawsuit coincides with mixed reviews of its big-budget film, Battleship — the first movie based on a board game since Clue. Looking for a scapegoat, or more publicity, for its pending box-office disaster, the executives at Universal filed this lawsuit in fear of a repeat of the box office flop, John Carter of Mars. The Universal action is wholly without merit and we will vigorously defend their claims in Court. Nonetheless, we appreciate the publicity.
Didn’t Disney release John Carter? That’s a weird mistake to make. I digress.
Battleship is already a monster international hit for Universal, even before it opens on U.S. screens, so it makes little sense they’d go out of their way to try and recoup funds potentially lost if the movie bombs here from a relatively tiny company like Global Asylum. Not to mention Global Asylum makes their money doing exactly this: releasing films that sound and look just like huge Hollywood blockbuster in hopes someone will pick it up on the cheap at Wal-Mart or rent it by mistake on Netflix. They’re the company behind Paranormal Entity, Titanic II, 2012: Ice Age, The Terminators, Transmorphers and Battle Of Los Angeles not to be confused with, well, you get it.
What do you think happens with this case? Will Global Asylum buckle and pay off Universal? Or does Global Asylum have some sort of legal loophole that allows them to keep doing this?