‘Terminator’ Franchise Faces Uncertain Future

– by Joseph Medina

Like the Terminators themselves, the “Terminator” franchise refuses to die. After two failed sequels to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” and a short-lived television series, they still greenlit the latest soft reboot, “Terminator: Genisys.” In that film, the filmmakers did their best to incorporate the best elements from those first two films while ignoring the lesser-revered latter two.

The results were a bit disappointing. Not only did the film fail critically (it’s sitting at 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes right now), but it had a lackluster opening weekend of $27 million, to boot.

On a film with a sub-$100 million budget, that could’ve been okay. But as it stands, the film cost $155 million to make, so in order for it not to be considered a failure, it would likely need at least over $300 million in worldwide gross. It’s currently at around $279 million. The film has yet to open in China, so when all said in done, it’ll likely easily break past $300, but it’s still hardly anything to be excited about—at least from a studio standpoint. After all, this is a film that should’ve, by all accounts, at least broken $500 million worldwide.

With all this in mind, we have ask the question…Is the “Terminator” franchise officially dead? Has Arnold truly “I’ll be back”d his last “I’ll be back?”

“We will definitely need to see the holds globally to confirm that people like the film,” a Paramount source told THR.

MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler is a bit more blunt on the matter.

“If they are going to make another one, something has to change. You either have to make a better film or make it cheaper. They tried to bring in elements of the first film, but it didn’t work. It’s going to be very difficult. They’re going to have to cater to the international market.”

That last part is definitely a bit of a sticking point. As a fan of the first two movies, my gut wants the studio to take things back to its roots in sci-fi horror. Don’t just throw more CG metal at the screen and assume it’ll automatically mean more to the audience. Without the stakes and the terror that came from the Terminators in the first two films, the franchise is nothing more than your generic sci-fi flick. But if they need to cater to the international markets, that approach will not work.

While U.S. audiences are definitely getting a bit CG weary, the foreign market really love watching things explode. Just check out any big budget movie, good or bad, and it’s a clear trend. And in a market where foreign box office gross accounts for two-thirds of the total, catering to them is becoming increasingly important.

So with that in mind, if we they were to take “Terminator” back to its roots, would it even sell? It’s a lose-lose situation, really.

I’m sure many fans would prefer that the studio just abandon it, but a real concern is that in abandoning it at this crucial point, they’d be leaving billions of dollars on the table.

What do you think? Should Paramount should churn out another “Terminator” movie, or does this franchise belong to another decade?

Let us know your thoughts below!

Sources: THR, Box Office Mojo 1, 2

Film Terminator: Genisys, Emilia Clarke, Arnold Swarzenegger, Alan Tayor