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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.

42 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

clint    

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

857 days ago
32.

Z    

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...

857 days ago
33.

brown dynamite    

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

857 days ago
34.

kromen    

Carl Weathers? I'm in.

857 days ago
35.

brent    

it's hard to say which movie is worse.

856 days ago
36.

anonymous    

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

845 days ago
37.

jdranetz    

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.

844 days ago
38.

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. .

841 days ago
39.

johnmiller    

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.

841 days ago
40.

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. .

841 days ago
41.

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.

833 days ago
42.

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.

833 days ago
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