Word has materialized across the net that James Cameron‘s Terminator franchise has been terminated … at least for now.
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE opened to an underwhelming $29M in domestic ticket sales this past weekend, ultimately labeling the TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY follow-up as a box office bomb. Furthermore, the film also failed to impress overseas, earning just $94.6 million to date, including a dismal China debut of just $28 million, for a worldwide total of $123.6 million.
Due to the film’s lackluster performance, Dark Fate stands to lose $120 million for the film’s partnered studios, including Skydance Media, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. At the film’s conception, each studio had offered up 30 percent of the project’s $185 million budget, with China’s Tencent contributing 10 percent of the tentpole’s production budget. Adding insult to injury, Dark Fate stands to lose even more money ($130 million) if the film fails to gain traction internationally.
Unfortunately, without a major boost to the film’s performance numbers in the coming weeks, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing another Terminator movie down the road. In fact, as of this moment, all plans to continue the story presented in Dark Fate have been scrapped. As a continuation of the events seen in TERMINATOR: JUDGMENT DAY, Dark Fate ignored the other sequels in Cameron’s Terminator franchise, and featured new and returning heroes to help launch a three-movie arc.
Previously, when plans for Dark Fate were coming together, Cameron painted fans a picture of the franchise’s future:
“What we wanted to get in the first movie was this idea that it’s just going to keep happening. The names will change, but the basic conflict is going to continue to take place until it gets resolved one way or the other. And so I believe we’ve set that table and if, like I said, if we get the opportunity, we know where to take the story so that it doesn’t become… I think you start simple and then you elaborate, and you can elaborate over a series of films. If they’re made by the same people with the same intentions and the same philosophy, then there can be a kind of a story arc across multiple films. But that said, I think Dark Fate stands alone as a pretty good one-time story.”
For those of you who’ve seen the new film, you’ll know that it features an ending that could easily lead to new and exciting events. Sadly, even the return of fan-favorite character Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) wasn’t enough to put asses in the seats for the franchise’s latest “prevent the apocalypse” installment. I’ve yet to see the film myself, though from what I’ve gathered online, it sounds as if the movie suffered from pacing issues, as well as an over-abundant amount of CGI fight scenes. However, regardless of the reasons that the film under-performed, Dark Fate marks the third time that the Terminator franchise has failed to reboot itself. While I’ve no doubt that someone will take another crack at the Terminator formula down the road, it would appear as if the franchise will continue to sink lower than Schwarzenegger’s T-800 at the end of Judgment Day.