Terminator, Magic Mike Flaccid Against Fireworks and Holdovers
By John Hamann
July 5, 2015
The Thursday amount provided no relief, coming in at $6.5 million, off 27% from opening day. The combined Tuesday preview, Wednesday and Thursday totaled $15.5 million, just a little higher than what Terminator Salvation earned on its $13.4 million opening day, a Thursday. It was also significantly lower than the $28.3 million that Terminator: Rise of the Machines earned over its first Tuesday to Thursday. Rise of the Machines had a July 4th Friday but still outgrossed Genisys, as the reboot earned only $10.7 million, whereas Rise took in $13 million against fireworks, barbecues and a Legally Blonde sequel. Results were ugly for Terminator: Genisys and comparisons against previous films in the franchise make it even worse.
Over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the weekend, Terminator: Genisys earned only $28.7 million, and over its first five days, Genisys took in $44.1 million. The score is simply not good enough compared to budget, and unless overseas results vary wildly from the domestic, the Terminator franchise is dead. Proper care and attention of this asset was not taken. Reviews were putrid at 27% fresh, and audiences gave it a Cinemascore of B+. Usually a turd can still be sold for a solid opening weekend, but the marketing here was awful, much like what happened with Spy (but that was a good film that failed to meet expectations). There was nothing good about this marketing campaign, no real memorable takeaways like we saw with Jurassic World, and no memorable money shots. The marketing always seemed to go back to the shot of Emilia Clarke hanging out a helicopter, which to me is underwhelming when $155 million has been spent on a single film’s creation.
The lone good thing about the lead up to this release is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who knows how to talk up a film. He did a great bit a few weeks ago posing as wax sculpture of The Terminator and then scaring tourists. He also gave countless interviews, but unfortunately those interviews led to press about this personal life instead of the film. Arnold may be able to bring up the overseas box office, though, as a film like Escape Plan, which he did with Stallone, earned only $25 million stateside, but exploded to $112.2 million overseas. Terminator 3 doubled its domestic gross overseas ($150 million domestic/$283 million overseas), but still lost a bucketload of money due to its $200 million production budget. I am hesitant to come out using the flop word, but the opening weekend is definitely a disappointment for all involved – including us.
Magic Mike XXL finishes fourth this weekend after a strong start over its first few weekdays. The Warner Bros. release got the party started on Wednesday, earning $9.3 million from Tuesday previews and Wednesday proper. Giving the production budget of only $14.5 million, the sequel was off to a very strong start, even though Warner Bros. was aware that its best day was already behind it. The Thursday came in at $5.7 million, which means it cleared its budget after only two days of release. Friday’s gross improved on the Thursday only slightly, with Mike and friends earning $6.3 million. The combined first three days came in at $21.3 million, ahead of the original’s opening day amount of $19.4 million.