TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Universal

Sues Over 'Battleship' Knockoff

4/27/2012 7:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0427-battleship-american-battleship
Universal Studios claims its new big budget movie "Battleship" is in jeopardy -- all thanks to a low budget straight-to-DVD knockoff that's coming out ... and now, it's suing.

Universal filed the lawsuit against The Asylum -- a production company that makes low-budget straight-to-DVD "mockbusters" with similar titles to their big budget inspirations ... i.e. "Titanic 2," "The Terminators," and "Transmorphers." Just look at its IMDb page.

Now, according to the lawsuit, Asylum's up to no good once again -- releasing a DVD called "American Battleship" on May 22nd ... just 4 days after the big budget "Battleship" is set for theatrical release in the U.S.

According to the lawsuit, Universal spent $100 million producing its film ... and $30 million promoting it in the U.S. alone -- and Asylum's trying to piggy back on its hard work.

To prove its point, Universal points out the laundry list of ways "American Battleship" is a rip-off -- including the plot ... and the hilariously similar movie posters (above).

According to the lawsuit, Universal is the exclusive licensee of the film rights to the classic naval combat board game -- and Asylum's stepping all over its business. (Universal also calls its movie "highly anticipated," but wishing doesn't make it so.)

Universal is suing for unspecified damages -- i.e. many, many millions.

43 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

oneenigma4u    

Really now they are saying something . I would go to blockbuster and rent all the straight-to-DVD knockoffs when there was a blockbuster .

823 days ago
17.

Brian    

If it is half as funny as the trailer, I'd rather see the knock off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr-Y8IeWymo

823 days ago
18.

Coochiepoot    

they didn't steal anything or copy, they "sampled".

823 days ago
19.

campy    

Mario Van Peebles must feel proud! lol

823 days ago
20.

Bitchmaster    

If these guys want to make billions, they need to have Kim Kardashian as a leading star on any of their movies.

823 days ago
21.

Marco Polo    

Asylum has been churning out these knockoff movies for years. You can see most of them on the SyFy channel. I wonder why they chose *now* to sue?

823 days ago
22.

Slurpee    

I was a p.a. on a low budget horror flick made by the Asylum....bunch of douchnozzles those guys are.

823 days ago
23.

Who Knew    

Hey, you sank my BattleMovie.

823 days ago
24.

Mihalick    

This would be a great lawsuit by Universal....if the right to parody were not a protected right.

823 days ago
25.

Rick Tucker    

I wonder why James Cameron isn't suing Universal for taking his premise for the Abyss and spinning it around making the aliens evil?
I guess it could be because Cameron has a life. When a big studio is worried about a low budget also-ran you can see there's not much to it's effort besides the FX.

823 days ago
26.

arale norimaki    

A hit. You have sank my battleship!

823 days ago
27.

jeffo    

If Universal really cared about their movie, why didn't they hire Mario Van Peebles first?? In other words, how the hell did they spend 100 million dollars on the movie, without hiring Marion Van Peebles? Sometimes these Hollywood types are real idiots.

823 days ago
28.

Aivar    

Asylum is the worst pile of sh*t ever invented! Lets hope, that they pay every coin they made for the pile of crap they made. They must have been sued before for the knock-off titles they have produced for years.

823 days ago
29.

Telstar    

Heaven knows what they'll do with the blockbuster "Tic Tac Toe"...

823 days ago
30.

dapedo    

i am so paying to watch the budget one then pirate the major release one. yup yup

823 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web