Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Will Terminator: Genisys Get Those Two Sequels?

In September of 2014, Paramount Pictures scheduled not one but two sequels to Terminator: Genisys, which at the time was 10 months away from release. Scheduling release dates for follow ups to yet to be released movies has become a common exercise for Hollywood in recent years, but there was special reason why these two sequels had been dated. Ya see, in 2019, the rights to the Terminator franchise returns to James Cameron, the man responsible for the first two entries in this saga.

But even once he regains the rights to the franchise, the studios responsible for past Terminator films retain their distribution rights to those robotic adventures. So, even in 2020, Paramount could theoretically still be collecting cash from the home video sales and cable airings of their Terminator trilogy. The problem Paramount faces now, though, is that Genisys is a dud domestically. With middling word-of-mouth, terrible reviews and only $42 million through its first five days of release in the US, there's no hope for the motion picture in the states.

Internationally though, things are a different story. It's already taken in $85 million overseas, and that's before it even opens in Japan and China. As Scott Mendelson at Forbes pointed out, there's a strong chance that Terminator: Genisys becomes the first movie in history to make under $100 million domestically, but make $400 million worldwide. Surprisingly, that would be more than 2.5 times the $155 million budget of Genisys, which would be a better budget-to-final-gross ratio than 2013s Star Trek Into Darkness, another Paramount Pictures summer blockbuster that's getting a sequel next year.

Of course, Kirk and his pals have gotten far better word-of-mouth (though admittedly less overseas interest) than the most recent Terminator adventure. Still, Paramount is hungry for big franchises (as evidenced by them trying to turn Transformers into a fully-fledged cinematic universe), and Terminator could fit the bill as the kind of multi-part franchise that makes them oodles of cash. Will they throw caution (and a terrible showing domestically) to the wind and keep making more Terminator adventures before the rights return to James  Cameron? Hard to say at this point. The future for this franchise is certainly not set.

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