Franchise Mediocrity Hides at Scale

The bigger something gets, the more mediocre it becomes.

The original Terminator scared me senseless in the early 1990s when I finally saw it at age twelve or so, and then a few years later I watched T2 and got scared even more.

The real cinema crime is what Cameron did to her.

But, as B.B. King said back in the day, “the thrill is gone.”

I have avoided writing about, commenting on, or in general feeding into the contretemps around the latest entry into the Terminator franchise—I feel icky even writing that— around here, because piling on is usually unseemly.

But because the regular “Terminator: Dark Fate is going to Suck” guy is with his family—yes, Goblin, there is more to life than running this film site—it falls to me to enter into the fray on this Saturday afternoon.

I Guess They All Got Paid for Showing Up

The box office numbers are in, and even the shill reviewers couldn’t rescue this Terminator from its Dark Fate.

See what I did there?

Crack writing like that is why you keep coming back here, and not going over to those other guys across the street, or up the road to that other house, you abandoned in shame years ago.

Dude is feuding with Sly…because…why?

Early reporting on numbers from the trades:

Paramount and Skydance’s Terminator: Dark Fate is stalling in its U.S. debut, grossing a disheartening $10.6 million on Friday for a projected $27 million dollar weekend. Friday’s gross includes $2.35 million in Thursday previews.

Oof. There wasn’t a woodshed, but somebody got a whuppin.’

From the trades again:

“Dark Fate” cost $185 million to make, more than the $155 million production budget of “Genisys,” which ultimately earned $90 million in the US but a more healthy $440 million worldwide. “Dark Fate” will also most likely rely on a boost from the international box office.

Ya’ think?

Maybe the Chinese and the Indians can turn their heads and cough at Jimmy Cameron’s shilling, but not American audiences.

Apparently, there’s still life in the American cinema-going public.

There Are Other Options Out There Goblin

There are other things you could see this weekend, Goblin, including the following:

Motherless Brooklyn—Ed Norton twitching around—Arctic Dogs, Harriet, or, if you’re in select cities, The Irishman is playing somewhere.

She’s already forgotten that she was in this.

By the way, the audience Cinema Score on Terminator: Dark Fate was a B+ with a 69% positive ranking from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

I love the way the trades’ reporting ends:

Heading into the weekend, Dark Fate was tracking to open in the high $30 million to low $40 million range domestically. Overseas, where Disney is releasing the November tentpole, it opens in a raft of major markets, including China.

Yep. Go East, young Cameron, to where they haven’t gotten sophisticated to your game yet.

Go East.