Terminator: Dark Fate in this film the performance is less good compared to the Terminator 2, but there was always the hope that it could improve with good word-of-mouth.
The sequel has been the best-received outing of the Terminator series since Terminator 2: Judgment Day. So while fans could have been put off seeing it on the opening weekend by the recent movies in the series, they might have been persuaded by decent reviews.
Sadly, the movie seems condemned to its own dark fate as it currently stands at $199.2 million worldwide, having opened pretty much everywhere. It dropped 63% in the US over a slow weekend of releases and looks set to end its run with under $300 million worldwide.
But why did Terminator: Dark Fate prove such a flop despite being a genuinely good Terminator outing?
Arguably, the biggest factor is the franchise itself: even the most die-hard of Terminator fans had been burned too many times already.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had a mixed response, but that was positively glowing compared to the reception for Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys. Genisys was meant to be a fresh start after Salvation’s disappointment, yet turned out to be even more of a mess.
Yes, Dark Fate ignored all three previous movies, but the prospect of another reboot only four years after the previous one wasn’t exactly exciting. They got it wrong before, after all. Three times.
If any movie needed some early buzz and momentum, it was Dark Fate. However, reviews were embargoed until its opening day in the UK (October 23), with social reactions allowed a couple of days earlier on October 21.
Audiences are too savvy nowadays to be fully swayed by early reactions – which, more often than not, are usually positive – and the lack of reviews, especially when associated with a struggling franchise, only served to convince audiences that we had another Terminator dud on our hands.
That it didn’t turn out to be so is rendered irrelevant by the fact that a large majority of the audience would have already made up their minds.
Reactions and reviews promising the best Terminator sequel since T2 weren’t persuasive enough, given the low bar set by the previous movies and the fact that the reviews were coming so late in the day.
It could also be argued that Dark Fate was never going to set the box office alight, with none of the previous three Terminator movies crossing $500 million worldwide. Terminator Genisys came the closest with $440.6 million, but that was skewed by a $113 million gross in China.
With a reported budget of $185 million (not including marketing spend), Bola Deposit Pulsa was already facing an uphill challenge to be profitable. It needed to come across as a must-see event and, unfortunately, its big-budget sci-fi action just isn’t as distinctive as it once was.
In a year that’s had a true event release in Avengers: Endgame, Dark Fate wasn’t offering must-see value – and that’s even with the return of Linda Hamilton to the franchise for the first time since T2.
It gave Dark Fate a Star Wars: The Force Awakens vibe, trying to restart a franchise with classic characters mixing with new characters. But The Force Awakens came after a decade-long gap and Star Wars has always been more mainstream than Terminator.
The same fans who would have been excited for Hamilton’s return are the same ones who had been burned before.
What’s more, The Force Awakens brought a whole new generation of fans to Star Wars and didn’t rely on prior knowledge. Dark Fate, on the other hand, always felt too closely linked to the original two movies to truly appeal to potential new fans.