The reviews were dreadful and domestic audiences didn’t show up, but China provided a sliver of hope for those who still cared that there was might be some followups for “Terminator: Genisys.” The sequel and potential franchise reboot notched the fourth biggest debut ever for a U.S. movie in China, and international audiences overall have made ‘Genisys’ the second highest grossing movie in the series. So that could have been enough for Paramount, which had big plans for the property, including a new trilogy and a TV series. But apparently that’s not to be.
In a recent THR piece about movie financiers, there’s a buried nugget that notes that even after earning $440 million worldwide, the $155 million budgeted (not including post production costs) “Terminator: Genisys” will probably still lose money (that must’ve been a super expensive marketing campaign). Moreover, according to the trade’s sources “the notion of a Terminator universe is on hold indefinitely.”
Youch. That being said, producer David Ellison and Paramount don’t always make expected moves. It’s not quite a parallel, given that it cost less and the stakes were much lower, but while no one was really asking for a “Jack Reacher” sequel, production begins for such a film this fall. It’s another example of a movie that did middling numbers in the U.S. but rode high overseas. The “Jack Reacher” franchise has Tom Cruise, riding very high after the mega success of “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.” Like Cruise, Schwarzenegger is still a big draw outside U.S. borders and there is value in the Terminator brand. Moreover, Paramount may want to exercise its rights while possible before they revert back to James Cameron in 2019.
Of course, whether or not they should is another question. Frankly, the narrative timeline of the series is so muddled by this point that it might just be best to let it go. But never say never…. even Universal is promising to make “Pacific Rim 2,” even as they’ve taken it off the release calendar….