Despite some mostly positive reviews and word of mouth for Paramount’s Terminator: Dark Fate, it looks like the film’s opening weekend will be coming in much lower than previously projected.

Originally, there had been some high-end projections of Dark Fate earning $40+ million and now early weekend projections (via BoxOfficeMojo) are placing the domestic weekend earnings more in the range of $27 million instead, a dip of over $10 million.

According to Deadline, the production budget is said to be between $185-196 million. A rather hefty price tag given the franchise’s woes over the years.

Audiences likely weren’t wooed by having James Cameron’s involvement front-and-center during the marketing/promotion as Paramount Pictures likely assumed.

Cameron’s name also didn’t help with the Robert Rodriguez anime/manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel, which opened to $28.5 million back in February. A similar opening to Dark Fate.

Not to mention being burned with the last three Terminator films likely didn’t contribute to any trust in quality, even if the movie is good.

Paramount likely should have relied a little more on Tim Miller’s Deadpool success to promote the film, given the franchise’s popularity.

James Cameron has been teasing in interviews their plans to make Terminator 7 and Terminator 8, but with weak openings overseas and domestically that is looking like another case of wishful thinking on his part.

Two very expensive James Cameron connected productions failing to make a splash at the box office should make Disney/20th Century Fox nervous about his FOUR sequels to Avatar currently being shot.

We’ll try to remain cautiously optimistic about Avatar 2, but as we’ve seen with franchise sequels over the last couple of years big time gaps between releases don’t bode well.

Who knows what will ultimately happen with the franchise from this point.

In Mexico City, a newly modified liquid Terminator — the Rev-9 model — arrives from the future to kill a young factory worker named Dani Ramos. Also sent back in time is Grace, a hybrid cyborg human who must protect Ramos from the seemingly indestructible robotic assassin. But the two women soon find some much-needed help from a pair of unexpected allies — seasoned warrior Sarah Connor and the T-800 Terminator.

SOURCE: BOX OFFICE MOJO

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