‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ flops, even with Schwarzenegger and Hamilton, but is still No. 1
LOS ANGELES – It might be judgment day for the Terminator franchise.
Despite generally favorable reviews and the return of stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger and producer James Cameron, “Terminator: Dark Fate” has opened well below expectations at the box office. Studios on Sunday estimate that “Dark Fate” earned only $29 million from more than 4,000 North American theaters. The film cost a reported $185 million to produce.
It was enough to win the top spot at the box office, but it’s a weak victory for the franchise. Although “Dark Fate” received much better reviews (69% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) than 2015’s roundly derided “Terminator: Genisys” and was praised for being a return to form akin to Cameron’s original films, it opened just slightly ahead of that film.
“These big brands carry with them huge expectations, often unrealistic expectations,” says Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “It wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm for the stars and filmmakers.”
Internationally, “Dark Fate” did much better, earning $72.9 million from 48 markets.
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Second place went to Joaquin Phoenix’s origin story “Joker,” which added $13.9 million, bringing its global earnings to $934 million in just five weeks in theaters. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” landed in third place in its third weekend with an additional $12.2 million. The Angelina Jolie-led sequel has grossed $84.3 million in North America.