Terminator Sequels Are On Indefinite Hold
Everything about the lead up to Terminator: Genisys left a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing about it seemed interesting, and when they revealed the big plot twist in the trailers, I thought it was a bad marketing call and an ill advised idea to begin with.
Watching the film just confirmed all of my suspicions that Terminator: Genisys wouldn’t be very good, as the plot twists felt forced with a lazy story and bad dialogue. The film didn’t fair any better with the general audiences, either, as Genisys made a paltry $89.7 million at the domestic box office on a $155 million budget… and that’s before marketing costs.
That’s not to say the film did badly in all markets, as the latest Terminator film did do very well over seas with a foreign gross of $350.4 million.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, however, those numbers have sealed the fate of any potential sequel, and the entire franchise is on indefinite hold by Paramount Pictures. Genisys was supposed to kick off a universe, much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with sequels already planned for a 2017 and 2019 release, along with a tie-in television series. This news doesn’t mean that Paramount WON’T make another Terminator, it just means they’re pausing to take stock in the property.
If the Skydance (David Ellison's production company that financed it) and the studio do plan to move ahead with another Terminator, then they really need to get going on it. The rights to the franchise will revert back to James Cameron in 2019, who could potentially produce a new Terminator film once that happens. Though he's pretty busy with the Avatar sequels. Personally, I find the timelines in the series are such a mess that a full reboot is the only way to resurrect the tired property.
For those of you who are into math and can’t figure out how a film that grossed $440 million worldwide (which is almost three times its budget) has come in at such a huge loss, here’s the rundown: A big tentpole film usually runs an enormous marketing budget of around $200 million, which means that the full budget for Genisys is likely $355 million. Sure, the movie made about $85 million more than the budget, but that's not a lot of profit, especially once the profit pie is sliced to filmmakers and likely star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
To break it down further, typically a studio takes 50% of the domestic gross, so in this case Genisys' profitscomes in at $44.9 million. While the film grossed $350.4 million overseas, the foreign box-office take for a studio is generally only 25%. What that leaves Paramount (and Skydance) with is a $132.5 million take on a film that cost more than two-and-a-half times as much to produce and market. Hopefully, this will keep Hollywood from making any more bad Terminator films.
Image: Skydance & Paramount