Terminator Genisys Opens Big in China, Sequel Still Possible?
Terminator Genisys bombed in the states, pulling in just $89 million against a $155 million budget. It couldn't even crack the number one position at the domestic box office during its opening weekend, losing out to holdovers Jurassic World and Inside Out. Things looked bleak for its sequel prospects, even though Arnold Schwarzenegger has assured everyone that he will be back for two more franchise installments, setting this latest endeavor up as a trilogy. Well, that may prove to be true yet, as Terminator Genisys opens big at the Chinese box office.
To date, Terminator Genisys has earned $264 million at the foreign box office, placing its worldwide cume at $353 million. Now, in its first day of Chinese release, the film has generated enough interest to thrust it back to the #1 spot on the international weekend charts. The quasi-sequel/reboot hasn't been able to hold down that position since early July.
Its first day of release in China pulled in an estimated $27.4 million from 25,000 screens. This includes all midnight shows, which managed to earn $2.2 million. That is the 4th highest score of all-time. This also arrives as the 4th biggest opening day of all time for a Hollywood movie in China, placing it behind this year's Furious 7, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and last year's Transformers: Age of Extinction. This also marks Paramount's 2nd biggest opening in the region, behind Transformers 4.
Terminator Genisys is the first Hollywood movie released in China since the so-called 'summer blackout', where the country keeps all foreign films off screens for several weeks so that all local movies get a chance to shine at the box office. Helping to ensure big numbers when it finally did open, Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived in China to heavily promote the movie. He even appeared on the localized version of The Voice, generating enough buzz to push his new film to the top of the International charts.
Will the Chinese box office be enough to ensure that we see a sequel to Terminator Genisys? 10 months before its release in domestic theaters, Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions announced that Terminator Genysis 2 would be arriving in 2017, followed by Terminator Genysis 3 in 2018. Skydance paid over $20 million for the franchise rights back in 2011, and also announced plans for a TV series. But once the film flopped, plans for both the sequels and show went into limbo. China was the last market left for the movie to open in. And some believed if it underperformed in this important market, this version of the franchise was doomed.
Just over 70 percent of Terminator Genisys' worldwide haul is from international territories, which is becoming increasingly important as studios decide which movies should get sequels or not. For example, Pacific Rim only made $101 million domestically in 2013, but its international tally of $309.2 million ensured the green light for Pacific Rim 2, hitting theaters in August 2017. It isn't yet known if director Alan Taylor or screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier will return to make the potential Terminator Genisys sequels. Though its likely that the rest of the main cast will return if a sequel does happen, which, aside from Arnold Schwarzenegger, includes Emilia Clarke as Sarah Conner and Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese.
We'll have to wait and see how Terminator Genisys continues to perform in China. The home market will be important too, in deciding wether or not Paramount wants to move forward with its two proposed sequels and the TV show. What do you think? Do you hope this version of the franchise continues? Or is it already in need of a new reboot? Or should the plug just be pulled altogether?