The sixth Terminator movie reteams series stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who haven’t been on screen together since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The film also brings the duo back together with Terminator creator James Cameron, who returns to the franchise as a producer and story by scribe. Deadpool‘s Tim Miller directs. 20th Century Fox has overseas on the movie (minus Tencent in China).
We hear that the TV spot campaign for Dark Fate is about to kick into high gear. That said, note there’s a lot of upside here for Dark Fate to go significantly higher than what’s being safely reported today. Not only does the movie bring Cameron, Hamilton and Schwarzenegger back together, it returns the series to its R rating. That’s a big deal in regards to octane, as Miller exclaimed to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con back in July.
Another biggie why Dark Fate can overindex: It’s being billed as the direct sequel to Judgement Day. The last two Terminator movies, Genisys and Salvation were PG-13. Should Dark Fate best the 3-day opening of 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines ($44M), it will rep a record weekend debut for the franchise. We hear Dark Fate has a lock on older and younger men. Some wild projections are comparing Dark Fate to Mission: Impossible – Fallout which opened to $61.2M. Another advantage that Dark Fate has is that the first weekend of November is a hot zone at the box office with Marvel’s 2017 Thor: Ragnarok ($122.7M) and 2016 Doctor Strange ($85M) the frame’s top opening titles.
Historically the Terminator movies have opened midweek like on a Tuesday (Terminator 2 and 3), Wednesday (the last installment Genisys which didn’t do very well in U.S./Canada), and Salvation (Thursday). This is the first time that a Terminator film has opened on a Friday since the original 1984 movie. That first movie finaled at $38.3M, but exploded on home video with Terminator 2: Judgement Day making $205.9M stateside, still the best in the series. However, previous chapter Genisys back in 2015, which returned Schwarzenegger to a lead role in the series after serving as the Governor of California, repped the second lowest domestic gross in the franchise at the domestic B.O. with $89.7M (but worldwide repped the second best in the series with $440.6M after Judgement Day‘s $520.9M).
David Ellison’s Skydance Media acquired the rights of the Terminator franchise from his sister, Megan Ellison, who bought them for $20M in 2011 at auction.
The other wide entries for the pre-Veterans Day weekend aren’t looking so hot: Entertainment Studios’ animated pic Arctic Dogs is seeing $5M, Warner Bros.’ Edward Norton New York city crime noir Motherless Brooklyn is eyeing $6M and Focus Features Harriet about abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman is projected at $8M.