If the Terminator franchise were an actual Terminator, Rise of the Machines would have scarred its fleshy exterior, Salvation would have blown off a robotic arm, Genisys reduced it to a crawling metal skeleton and now, Terminator: Dark Fate has crushed it flat in a hydraulic press. Yup, the latest reports on the film are that following an absolutely disastrous $29 million opening weekend, it may be set to lose as much as $120 million.
That’s way under its box office projections. Just a month ago, analysts were saying that the movie would revitalize the franchise and predicted an opening weekend of more than $40 million, and that was on the conservative side of the estimates. Some even went as high as a $60 million opening, arguing that the return of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, the perennial star power of Schwarzenegger and the involvement of series creator James Cameron might tempt back audiences who were burned by Genisys.
But it would seem that Dark Fate failed to convince fans that it was worth watching. There doesn’t even seem to be much chance of the film recouping its budget overseas, with the Chinese opening at just $28 million and the total worldwide haul a measly $123.6 million against a $185 million budget (that’s minus promotion).
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This loss will definitely impact the studios who produced the pic, those being Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox (now owned by Disney), Skydance Media and China’s Tencent. Most of them will be able to absorb the blow, but Skydance will be hit particularly hard as they poured a lot of money into this soft reboot and had hopes for further sequels.
Terminator: Dark Fate flopping may mean that the rights will soon revert to James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd, too, due to the impending rights battle on the horizon. Horror fans will know that there’s currently a protracted tussle over the Friday the 13th rights, which centers on whether the IP in a script will revert to the control of the original author after 35 years. If that’s settled in the author’s favor and Cameron does gain control, Dark Fate flopping and the four Avatar sequels he’s making could mean this is the last shout for the time-traveling killer robots for quite some time.