The Battleship movie's bomb at the box office has Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and analysts worried the flop could torpedo his conglomerate's bottom line.
Battleship cost Universal -- which Comcast now owns after its NBC takeover -- $209 million to make and has generated only $23.4 million in domestic ticket sales, according to Reuters. This despite packing the star power of pop juggernaut Rihanna's first on-screen appearance.
Battleship has accrued $282 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to Businessweek, which is easily eclipsed by post-production costs such as marketing and distribution.
It is projected to make only $35 million to $40 million in U.S. sales, leaving it a box office flop on par with Disney's John Carter, which had similar sales and cost figures. That film tanked so resoundingly in theaters that Disney had to toss a $200 million loss into its forecast.
Roberts, executive of NBC Universal's parent company Comcast, called Batleship's poor showing at the box office an unfortunate, large miss that could contribute to a negative second quarter.
Comcast could lose as much as $200 million with Battleship, analyst Michael Morris of Davenport & Co. told Reuters.
The studio's loss could grow with The Five Year Engagement, which was another dud in theaters.
This year you put that together, we'll have a negative quarter at NBCUniversal, as we've sort of told folks, Roberts said.
It is not quite the epic disaster of 'John Carter,' but this will put a dent in Comcast's quarter, Matthew Harrigan of Wunderlich Securities, an analyst who covers Comcast, told Reuters.
NBC Universal is hoping to rebound with this weekend's release of Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Charlize Theron.