(Reuters) - "Battleship," Universal Picture's big budget science fiction film, is likely to dent the studio's profits after it opened with lower than forecast ticket sales, according to analysts.
The film, which Comcast unit Universal has said cost $209 million to produce, generated $23.4 million in ticket sales at theaters in the U.S. and Canada during its opening weekend, according to figures compiled by Hollywood.com.
It had been projected by tracking services used by Hollywood studios to have ticket sales of between $35 million and $40 million.
The movie, which stars Liam Neeson and the singer Rihanna, finished the weekend second to Walt Disney's superhero blockbuster "The Avengers," which led the box office for the third weekend with $55.1 million in ticket sales.
"It is not quite the epic disaster of 'John Carter,' but this will put a dent in Comcast's quarter," said Matthew Harrigan of Wunderlich Securities, who follows Comcast. He did not quantify how much he expected the film to lose.