Terminator Franchise May Be Finished Now After Dark Fate Bombs

Terminator: Dark Fate

Thanks to the recent release of sixth installment Dark Fate, the Terminator franchise is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever… until yet another entry disappoints at the box office, putting the final nail in the coffin for the 35 year-old series. Which seems to be exactly what’s happened, based on how Tim Miller’s sequel/reboot hybrid fared over the weekend.

Despite boasting the return of both James Cameron and Linda Hamilton to the franchise, as well as scoring the best critical reviews for a Terminator movie since Judgment Day back in 1991, after a disappointing opening weekend at the global box office Dark Fate could well turn out to be the lowest-grossing entry in the blockbuster sci-fi saga since the original first hit theaters in 1984. And to put things into perspective, Dark Fate’s rumored $185 million budget is a lot higher than the $6.4 million that Cameron had to work with 35 years ago.

After being burned by three disappointing sequels in a row, audiences simply don’t seem to be interested in Terminator at all anymore, no matter how heavily Cameron, Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger were featured in the marketing to draw in the nostalgia crowd. Dark Fate’s $29 million opening may have been marginally higher than Genisys‘ $27 million, but Alan Taylor’s failed 2015 attempt at rehabilitating the brand fared much better internationally, especially in the highly-lucrative Chinese market.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results, so maybe someone will finally take the hint that the Terminator franchise is no longer either relevant or marketable to modern movie fans. Rise of the Machines, Salvation, Genisys and now Dark Fate have all failed to recapture either the spirit or box office appeal of Terminator 2 over the last decade and a half, and with the most recent entry set to lose upwards of $100 million when all is said and done, the T-800 should be allowed to enjoy his long-overdue retirement.