Photo Credit: Kerry Brown/Skydance Productions/Paramount Pictures
Terminator seems to have a Dark Fate at the worldwide box office. (Sorry.) The sixth entry in the franchise, released Friday, garnered $131 million (about Rs. 925 crores) in its opening weekend, which analysts deemed disappointing as the film had a production budget of $185 million (about Rs. 1,307 crores), in addition to $80–100 million (about Rs. 565–706 crores) for marketing and distribution, per reports. Box office analysts say Terminator: Dark Fate will need to bring in $450 million (about Rs. 3,180 crores) to break even, and some claim it might not cross $200 million (about Rs. 1,413 crores) globally at the end of its theatrical run.
For what it's worth, the opening weekend performance of Terminator: Dark Fate is on par with the franchise's last entry, Terminator: Genisys, in 2015. (Genisys made $129.7 million.) But while Genisys had the unexpected benefit of China, where the fifth entry brought in $113 million (about Rs. 799 crores) in total — just over a fourth of its $440 million (about Rs. 3,111 crores) worldwide total — Dark Fate has landed with a dud in the biggest Asian market. It made $28 million (about Rs. 197 crores) in the first three days of release, something Genisys had done so in China in a single day. Some analysts claim it might not hit $50 million (about Rs. 353 crores) at current pace.
Variety is behind the Terminator: Dark Fate box office numbers and analysis, as people familiar with the matter told it that the film could lose $100 million (about Rs. 706 crores) at cinemas, though it would make some of it back thanks to TV, streaming, and disc sales. Variety also posits that the Terminator franchise “might not be back any time soon”. Some of these fears come across as overblown. Considering it hit $131 million on opening weekend, it seems plausible that Dark Fate should cross $200 million worldwide. Moreover, Dark Fate has much better reviews than the previous two disaster entries. If Terminator returned then, there's no reason to think it won't do so again.
That said, the Terminator franchise is now partly in new hands. Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, and 20th Century Fox each put up 30 percent of the budget, per Variety. Disney acquired Fox in March, which has already announced a revamp of how the studio works, culling planned films and reducing its output as it tries to make the division profitable. Disney has already suffered a recent loss with X-Men: Dark Phoenix being a commercial (and critical) failure. Meanwhile, Paramount had a recent commercial (and critical) failure as well, in the Will Smith-starrer Gemini Man, which has a projected loss of $75 million (about Rs. 530 crores).
Terminator could very well be put on ice after all.