Before some pre-release screenings of "Cowboys & Aliens," a movie trailer ran for a film about America's Navy being attacked by aliens. Viewers were understandably puzzled — since when was Liam Neeson making a war movie? Shouldn't we have heard about this?
But the audience for at least one showing broke into laughter when the movie's title slammed onto the screen. "BATTLESHIP." As in, the board game from Milton Bradley. As in "B-4!" "Hit!" "J-10!" "Aw, you sank my battleship!"
The 2012 film isn't the only toy-related film coming out next year. Taylor Lautner of "Twilight" fame will star as Stretch Armstrong, the 1970s toy that trained kids for future careers as medieval torturers. And of course, "The Smurfs" hits theaters July 29, and "Transformers 3" was a huge box-office success last month.
Besides the inevitable jokes ("What's next, 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos in 3-D'?), we wanted to know what viewers really think about seeing their favorite childhood toys turned into films. Here are some of your thoughts.
KEEP MAKING THEM
"I see nothing wrong with it, but it seems there are no original ideas any more." —Cindy Rabon Lynn
"I think it's awesome when we can share a love for something. Alvin and the Chipmunks, and now the Smurfs!" —Alli Smith Blue
"They are great and especially since younger generations aren't familiar with them. It's a great way to introduce them to classics." —Juliana Mendrano
"When we played with these toys, we thought they were 'alive,' so now all Hollywood has done was took our childhood conversations that we had with our toys and put them on the big screen." —Sidney Barnes
"I'll take my kids to 'The Smurfs' for sure! Memory lane." —Janita Owen
"FUN! If you don't think they are fun, don't go watch them. This debate has been going for over 30 years now, and probably longer." —John Sheppard
IT'S LAZY AND DUMB
"I just think that they are unable to come up ideas of their own. Also that a lot of adults will want to take their children to movies they are more familiar with. Maybe just to say, 'hey this is what I had when I was a kid.' " —Keri Mewbourne
"My kid's teacher is waiting for Voltron to hit the big screen. How about the game of Life? Will the stars roll into Millionaire Acres at the end of the movie with a full car load of kids? How about a film version of Stratego, and the spy can collect all the bombs? There, I said it — 'film' and 'bomb' in the same sentence, which describes these movies. They are extended commercials for action figures, nothing more." —SKM
DEPENDS ON THE MOVIE
"They don't hurt anything as long as they stay true to the original idea. ... Sometimes they do suck, though. 'Yogi Bear' for instance." —Stan Robinson
"No matter the criticisms about 1980s cartoons, which are said to be mainly cartoons made to promote toys, they made some cartoons back then that are tons better than the educational-only junk they make today, with actual plot and action. I would go for a toy-inspired movie if it did justice to the original." —Beth
"Not every toy has translated well into a movie ('GI Joe'), but overall I would rather see these than remakes of old/older movies — THAT is Hollywood being lazy. I've enjoyed the 'Transformers' movies — and I'm far from being a kid. Look at the financial success of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' — a ride at Disneyland. These movies from toys or rides encourages creative writing, sets, locations, costumes and CG work. Yes, they're more expensive — but can be great entertainment to escape the problems of real life for a couple of hours. They need to be better at the sequels — second 'Transformers' left a lot to be desired (third was a big improvement)." —Cathy Linefsky
"Where studios tend to fall short is their inability to properly translate older franchises into modern cinema. Take 'Transformers.' The special effects are great, the movie's make a lot of money, but Bay's attempt to include somewhat adult humor into them (robots urinating on people, wrecking ball testicles, etc) is such a far cry from the original vision that while some of us may chuckle, others lose respect for the film maker for ruining our childhood favorites. Other movies such as 'The Smurfs' take too simple of a route when doing the initial plot. Instead of staying in the same realm as the original Smurfs and focusing on them and their daily lives, they've taken the characters and decided to drop them in NYC. I would've thought this lesson would've been learned back when they released 'Masters of the Universe.' Others such as the 'Battleship' movie try too hard to turn a simple concept into a big screen adaptation. Why someone thought that making a movie about a board game like that was a good idea is beyond me, but I definitely don't understand why they decided it needed aliens in it too." —Brian Lester