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Sues Over 'Battleship' Knockoff

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

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.


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Any movie with Carl Weathers is going to kick a$$!!!!!

874 days ago


Not sure why Universal is getting its panties in a twist. Asylum has supplied the SyFy Channel (owned by NBCUniversal) with plenty of rip-off mockbusters. For example, when Thor came out last year, they premiered Almighty Thor on the same weekend. Not sure why they're acting so litigious when all that money is going into the same pool...

874 days ago

brown dynamite    

I'd rather watch the one with Carl Weather's

874 days ago


Carl Weathers? I'm in.

874 days ago


it's hard to say which movie is worse.

873 days ago


Wait is this directed by Uwe Boll? or John Milius? This movie has Mario Van Peebles he's way bigger than Taylor Kitsch.

862 days ago


After renting the high budget "Battle: Los Angeles", I rented what I thought was a parody, "Battle of Los Angeles", which would have been amusing, after all Kel Mitchell was in it. A parody it was not. I'm assuming these knock offs are made to be sold in 3rd world markets.

861 days ago

King Ralph    

Nobody would have heard of the knock off if it wasn't for the lawsuit. The suits at Universal ain't too smart as it seems unlikely that they will collect a wooden nickel from the lawsuit. .

858 days ago


Ha! I LOVE The Asylum. Their chutzpah alone is so funny! However, they have acquiesced a bit. They have now changed the title to "American Warships" and altered the poster.

858 days ago

King Ralph    

I don't see how Universal can be an exclusive llicensee to film rights for the game Battleship since it is in the public domain. Battleship has been around since before World War I where people would create their own boards using pencil and paper. I used to do that with my father. Either Universal was sold a bill of goods or they are just making up a bunch of crap. .

858 days ago

Dexter Sinister    

This really is a stupid bluff on Universal's part. This is never going to go to trial, because the last thing Hollywood wants to do is establish a precedent that you can sue over something as simple as the concept of a movie and a similar title, because Hollywood steals ideas like a mother****er.

850 days ago

Dexter Sinister    

This is probably the one shot that Asylum has at actually outperforming the movie they are ripping off. Man, what a piece of cynical **** this flick is.

850 days ago
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