Despite coming out just three weeks ago, Terminator: Dark Fate already feels forgotten, as the sixth installment in the Terminator franchise failed to lure moviegoers despite the return of Linda Hamilton (and James Cameron as a producer).
Director Tim Miller spoke to The Hollywood Reporter recently about the film’s poor box office results as well as the mixed critical reaction, saying:
“I’m sure we could write a book on why it didn’t work. I’m still not sure and I’m processing, but I’m very proud of the movie.”
Frankly, the movie didn’t work because people don’t care about Terminator anymore. On a budget approaching $200 million, the film’s opening weekend of just $29 million reflected audience’s indifference towards the franchise.
Further analysis of the series shows that since Terminator 2: Judgment Day, each movie earned less than the one that came before it. Terminator Genisys grossed a bit more worldwide in 2015, but that was perhaps out of curiosity to see star Arnold Schwarzenegger return as the T-800.
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The negative reviews for the film resulted in Paramount cancelling a planned new trilogy, though. Four years later, they decided to spend even more money on another reboot and seemed more serious this time, as Cameron and Hamilton were back and they decided to ignore Terminator 3-5 like they never happened. They also brought in a hot new director in the form of Miller, fresh off of Deadpool.
Ultimately, though, fans just couldn’t shake the bad memories from the previous sequels and Miller seems to think that’s the main reason why Terminator: Dark Fate didn’t connect.
“The things they seemed to hate the most about the movie, were things I can’t control. I can’t control you didn’t like Genisys or you felt betrayed by Terminator 4. I can’t help that.”
Honestly, it seems kind of petty to be placing all of the blame on other filmmakers here. Sure, Miller made the best Terminator since Judgment Day, but that’s not saying much. He also fails to bring up the fact that his movie was poorly written and featured a shocking opening scene that clearly divided fans of the first two outings. Reports of him clashing with Cameron certainly didn’t help, either.
Is this the nail in the coffin? Probably, as this is now three expensive Terminator films in the past 10 years and with what looks like a $120 million loss, I think the studios have finally learned their lesson.