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'Terminator: Dark Fate' Heading for Lackluster $27 Million Launch

MusicMan 15 November 2, 2019

Paramount’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” is falling short of expectations with a projected $27 million opening weekend at 4,086 North American locations.

Though the sixth installment of the sci-fi franchise is dominating domestic moviegoing, the results are a disappointment, given the hefty $185 million cost. “Terminator: Dark Fate” took in $10.6 million on its opening day, including $2.4 million from previews on Halloween night.

Pre-release forecasts for “Dark Fate” had been in the $40 million range. The film had generated buzz due to it being the first franchise entry since 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” with series creator James Cameron and stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning.

“Dark Fate” centers on Hamilton’s resistance leader Sarah Connor protecting a young girl from a deadly new killer cyborg from the future. Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) directed “Dark Fate” from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray. New cast members include Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes and Gabriel Luna.

Moviegoers gave the  action-thriller a respectable B+ Cinemascore. Reviews were mostly positive, leading to a 69% mark on Rotten Tomatoes. Production companies are Paramount Pictures, Cameron’s Lightstorm, David Ellison’s Skydance Media, 20th Century Fox and China’s Tencent Pictures. Disney’s Fox is handling international distribution outside China.

The opening of Focus Features’ biopic “Harriet” scored the second-best mark Friday with $3.9 million, edging out Warner Bros. smash hit “Joker.” Updated projections place “Joker” with about $13.5 million for the weekend, followed by Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” at $13 million and “Harriet” at $10 million in fourth place. Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” will wind up the weekend with about $299 million in domestic grosses after 24 days.

“Harriet,” starring Cynthia Erivo and playing at 2,059 locations, is coming in at the high end of forecasts and received an A+ Cinemascore. But Warner Bros.’ crime drama “Motherless Brooklyn” and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures’ animated adventure “Arctic Dogs” have been showing little traction and are heading for openings of $3 million and $2.5 million, respectively. All three new entries had been forecast to debut around $10 million each.

MGM-United Artists’ fourth frame of “The Addams Family” should finish fifth with about $8.8 million at 3,607 venues. Its 24-day total will reach about $85 million by the end of the weekend.

Sony’s third weekend of its dark comedy sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” is heading for a sixth-place finish with around $7.2 million at 3,337 sites, lifting its 17-day total to $59 million. STX’s second session of “Countdown” will follow with about $5.3 million at 2,675 locations, topping Sony’s second weekend of “Black and Blue” with $3.7 million at 2,062 screens.