It's official, Paramount Pictures will distribute and co-produce a fifth Terminator film for a 2015 release, and it will somehow involve original star Arnold Schwarzenegger, be a "reboot" of the franchise and mark the beginning of a stand-alone trilogy.
It'll be co-produced by the billionaire Ellison kids, each putting up 1/3 of the costs which will probably run in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Now I've made my thoughts on rebooting the Terminator franchise before, but no one has listened. That has forced my hand to look at the PROS AND CONS!!
1. BOX OFFICE HISTORY.
The Terminator franchise made $1,402,938,658 at the box-office which is officially a shit-load of money.
2. POTENTIAL CONTINUITY FIX.
Maybe it's just me, or actually keeps track of continuity in stories, but the movies and the TV series turned what was a nice, tidy little time-travel-paradox in the first two movies, into an incoherent mush. A reboot, unless it's being done by DC comics, could wipe that slate clean.
1. DIMINISHING FINANCIAL RETURNS.
The budget of the first Terminator movie was $6.5 million and earned over $78 million worldwide, which was good money in 1984. The budget on the last one, Terminator: Salvation, was about $200 million, twice the budget of the epic sized Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but made about $150 million less, despite higher ticket prices.
This fifth film will probably cost somewhere between $200-$250 million just to make.
2. DIMINISHING RECEPTIONS.
The first movie scores about 100% at Rotten Tomatoes, T2 got 98%, T3 got 70%, and Terminator: Salvation got 33%. Audiences were about the same with the first two movies, but were much harsher than the critics with the rest.
The excited hoots you might expect has become an exasperated sigh of resignation.
3. DIMINISHED STAR POWER.
When the first movie came out its "star" Arnold Schwarzenegger was barely known, and what he was known for was for being a bodybuilder and for starring in the modestly successful Conan The Barbarian two years earlier. He just exploded in the role of the unstoppable killing machine and it made him a major box office star overnight.
However, that was almost 30 years ago.
Now Schwarzenegger is very well known, and it's to the film's detriment. He's now known as a politically impotent and personally oversexed failed Governor of California. Plus, he qualifies as a pensioner who needed extensive special effects work to be appear capable in the third movie ten years ago, and even more digital magic just to appear functional in the last one.
He's not an unstoppable action machine anymore, he's a punchline.
Plus, he knows a thing or two about contracts, and his contract for Terminator 3 is considered a classic example of how a movie star can drain pretty much all the profits before the studio has a chance to hide them.
4. THE CURSE OF THE TERMINATOR.
Let's take a moment to look at the companies that have made Terminator movies.
Hemdale produced the first one, and it was the company that got off easy because it went out of business by choice of its owners. The owners and management decided to shutter the company and sold off the company and its assets.
Carolco picked up the Terminator franchise from Hemdale. They made T2, which was a huge success but were bankrupt within a decade. The producers of T2 then formed...
C2 Pictures to make Terminator 3, and started the Sara Conner TV series, but even they started having money troubles, so they sold out to...
Halcyon Pictures which made Terminator: Salvation that sold a lot of tickets, but not enough to save them from their own bankruptcy.
Which brings us to the situation we're in now.
Will their be more bankruptcies?
I don't know, but if you don't feel a twee bit superstitious after seeing all that, you just aren't paying attention.
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