Terminator: Dark Fate, the sixth movie in the franchise, came out this weekend in the U.S., bringing in $29 million according to industry estimates. With the return of series creator James Cameron, Dark Fate is intended to be a sequel to The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, scrapping everything the other three films built after Cameron’s departure from the series. Not only is Cameron back, but Dark Fate sees the return of one of the original stars of the series, Linda Hamilton, who hasn’t been involved in Terminator since Judgment Day.
With Dark Fate just released, Cameron, who wrote and produced the film, said that he always envisioned Dark Fate to be the jumping-off point of more to come. “I feel that we set the stage or we set the table for that exploration, and that would take place in a second film and a third film,” Cameron said to Cinemaholic.
Despite returning to its roots, Dark Fate managed to barely succeed 2015’s Terminator Genisys, which made $27 million opening weekend. Sounds like coming back isn’t as easy as simply saying, “I’ll be back.”
Production companies Paramount, Skydance, and Fox have not announced a sequel to Dark Fate. It is possible that they are waiting to see how this film performs in the box offices before they make the final call. U.S. ticket sales might make it seem like the film is suffering its own dark fate, but international box office totals tell a slightly more optimistic story. Global opening weekend sales estimate Dark Fate will bring in a total of $101.9 million, with the U.S. and China expected to be its largest markets. However, across the board, the movie appears to be performing below expectations. Opening weekend in China grossed $28 million. Terminator: Dark Fate cost $185 million to make, reports Deadline.
It might not have done better than Genisys on its opening weekend, but Dark Fate has one thing Genisys doesn’t: solid reviews. Dark Fate will possibly have a smaller audience than many of the previous Terminator films; however, based on Rotten Tomatoes, Dark Fate has an 85% audience score and a 69% critics score. Genisys only had a 53% audience score and a 27% critics score. Perhaps this new dawn of the Terminator franchise is about quality over quantity.