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Pop singer Rihanna has made her first foray into the world of acting with a role in Hasbro's Battleship, released on 11 April.

Based on the popular board game, the film sees an alien invasion take place, with the world's only hope for survival being a fleet of ships manned by John Carter star Taylor Kitsch, plus Liam Neeson and Rihanna.

Film studios looking for a big hit will often sign up the biggest star of the moment for their film, hopefully drawing their thousands of fans to the cinema and boosting the box office takings. Rihanna could not be any more high-profile and Hasbro will be banking on her popularity.

Early reviews have not been particularly positive, with Total Film's comment of "Script Overboard" reflecting the view that Battleship is another brainless blockbuster that sees explosions trump plot.

Musicians have often dipped their toes into the cinematic pool, some more successfully than others. Some performers manage to balance their time between the two. At one time Jennifer Lopez had a chart topping album while her film The Cell was top of the US box office.

Casting a musician can have its drawbacks when it comes to the quality of performance. In the case of Rihanna, it appears director Peter Berg has cast her as little more than window dressing, with no real need for her to flex any acting muscles. In one scene her character fires a gun while saying "boom".

While the presence of a musician can increase idle audience interest, it can also offer an easy target to critics as well as pulling viewers out of the film when they recognise a singing star out of context.

A review by Empire describes Rihanna's character as being "as memorable as sea foam", but opening box office returns suggest her presence has played its part for the unstoppable Hasbro box office machine.

Not all musicians in films represent mere window dressing, using their natural talents as a performer to branch out successfully to the visual medium. For others the world of film proves an inhospitable wasteland. IBTimes UK picks out some of the most notable attempts.