'Terminator: Dark Fate' Casts Bad Spell for Franchise With Box Office Flop
Paramount Pictures/Kerry Brown

Despite generally favorable reviews, the sixth installment of the sci-fi film franchise disappoints with only $29 million domestically on its debut weekend.

AceShowbiz - "Terminator" hyped-up return didn't receive much attention from moviegoers. "Terminator: Dark Fate", the sixth and latest installment of the franchise, bombs on North American box office with only approximately $29 million from over 4,000 theaters on its opening weekend.

Overseas, the movie, which brings back Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator T-800 and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, earned $94.6 million for a current global total of $123.6 million. The figures disappoint considering that the movie reportedly cost $185 million to produce, before $80 million to $100 million in global marketing and distribution fees.

Unless "Dark Fate" shows steady and strong performance in the coming weeks, sources estimate that the movie could lose $100 million theatrically. Box office experts say the film needs to earn around $450 million to break even, but predict that "Dark Fate" will end its box office run with around $180 million to $200 million globally.

"They made a bad decision in greenlighting this film with this particular budget," says Eric Handler, a media analyst with MKM Partners. "They were clearly hoping this franchise could still resonate overseas, and it didn't really do that."

Handler explains people's reception for the movie, "This is an aging franchise with aging actors, and the reviews were mediocre. As good of a franchise as this might have been, it doesn't have the same appeal now."

"Dark Fate" received generally favorable reviews from critics, holding an approval rating of 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie was praised as a significant upgrade over its immediate predecessors, though it still lacks the thrilling firepower of the first two films which are considered the best of the franchise. Moviegoers gave it an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the same score as its previous three predecessors, on CinemaScore.

Kyle Davies, Paramount's president of domestic distribution, comments on the movie's box office performance, "Were we hoping for more? Of course. But we are proud of the movie. It truly delivers big action and big thrills. We tried to understand and honor what the fans wanted."

Despite its disappointing opening figure, "Dark Fate" still tops the domestic box office, pushing last week's champion "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" to No. 3 with an estimated $12.2 million. "Joker" stays steady at No. 2 with approximately $13.9 million, dropping only 27.7% from last week.

"Harriet" is a new release with the strongest debut this week, entering the chart at No. 4 with approximately $12 million from 2,059 theaters. That's an average of $5,828 per theater. "The Addams Family" rounds out the top five with approximately $8.5 million.

Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Nov. 01-03:

  1. "Terminator: Dark Fate" - $29 million
  2. "Joker" - $13.9 million
  3. "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" - $ 12.2 million
  4. "Harriet" - $12 million
  5. "The Addams Family" - $8.5 million
  6. "Zombieland: Double Tap" - $7.4 million
  7. "Countdown" - $5.8 million
  8. "Black and Blue" - $4 million
  9. "Motherless Brooklyn" - $3.6 million
  10. "Arctic Dogs" - $3.1 million

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