Terminator Genisys opened last month and is intended to be the first in a new standalone Terminator trilogy with two sequels planned: Terminator 2 (working title) set for release on May 19, 2017 and Terminator 3 (also working title) set for release in June 29, 2018. However, within it's first week of release, Genisys received an overwhelming amount of negative reviews and after seeing the film, I can easily say that those reviews are very wrong. Yes, Genisys may not be on par with the legendary James Cameron pics T1 and T2 but it is a more than worthy follow-up that has created it's own original narrative based on the amazing Terminator mythology.
However, the negativity is likely one of the main reasons as to why the movie under-performed at the US Box Office. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com the film's current takings in the US are around $88,809,000. Yes, this may be impressive for a normal film at the Box Office but unfortunately not impressive for a Summer Blockbuster, let alone a film from the almighty Terminator Franchise. With the film's high budget of $155 million, many have suggested that Paramount may not go ahead with the planned sequels.
However, the film performed much better overseas and the International numbers can (and should be) considered incredibly successful. The International numbers currently stand at $234,700,000, bringing Genisys's overall worldwide gross to $323,509,000. Read that number back. It's actually pretty great. Yes, it may still be behind the Arnie-less Terminator: Salvation. However, the total is over $200,000,000 more than it's own budget and currently puts Terminator: Genisys as the 314th highest grossing film of all time. Again, pretty neat records for a supposed 'box-office bomb'. Paramount vice Chairman Rob Moore commented that there was "no question that the U.S. market got affected by reviews but...we actually played above what people thought we would. And the international numbers are spectacular."
However, there is worry about whether or not Paramount thinks the Terminator sequels are worth the risk. Even though the numbers are successful enough to warrant a sequel as Paramount can cash-in on the success of the follow-up films before the rights revert back to James Cameron in 2019. Even Moderate Success is better than no success right? Although, they are holding off their decision on the sequels and basing it on one deciding factor. That deciding factor is Terminator Genisys' ace in the hole. Even with it's moderate success of the gradually increasing $323,509,000, this number is not final as the film has yet to be released in China.
The movie had been held off and without a release date in China for a number of weeks because of China's annual mid-summer blackout for foreign films. However, that comes to an end when Terminator: Genisys opens in China in one week, on August 23rd. China may be the saving grace for Terminator Genisys for a number of reasons. Mainly, China is the world's second-largest moviegoing market and has saved a number of franchises in the past. 2013's Pacific Rim under-performed at the Box-Office in the US with $101,802,906 ($89 million under the film's budget), however it had a stronger performance at the Chinese Box-Office, grossing $111,940,000. Due to the fact that it had a much stronger performance in China, this helped propel the movie's total to $411,002,90. China's addition to the total turned a moderately successful film was turned into a overwhelmingly successful blockbuster and a sequel was greenlit. Many Terminator fans are crossing their fingers that China intervenes in the same way for Terminator: Genisys.
Furthermore, Arnold Schwarzenegger's status as an Action Hero is not as strong in the US as it used to be, however his larger than life status is still very strong in China. This is particularly highlighted from the country's intervening in the taking's of Arnie's recent films. Escape Plan starring both Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone only grossed $25,135,965 in the US. However, China once again intervened, adding an additional $40,930,000. Once again, the film was more successful in China than anywhere else in the world. Escape Plan's final overall gross amounted to $137,328,30.
Finally, it's no secret that China seems to have an affinity for Science Fiction movies. In fact, China was single-handedly responsible for making Transformers: Age of Extinction one of the most financially successful films ever, earning it $320,000,000 in that country alone! The film eventually settled on $1,104,039,07. Thus, had it not been for China's intervention, the film wouldn't have passed the $1 billion mark!
Thus, with China's affinity for Science Fiction blockbusters, it's love of Arnold Schwarzenegger and it's tendency to help films outperform their gross in the US: it's clear to see why Paramount is holding off until China's numbers are added to the total. Furthermore, it's also clear to see why we should be excited by Terminator: Genisys' impending release in China! Paramount's hope is that China could propel the film's worldwide total to $400 million or over (which would put the film ahead of Terminator Salvation and around equal to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). At this stage, this is actually highly likely, all the film has to do is earn around $10 million less than it's underperforming US takings in China and it will exceed $400 million. At that point, the sequel should be guaranteed.
Even with all the question marks, you can't deny that grossing over $320 million while still waiting on the addition of the second-largest moviegoing market in the world is a pretty good position to be in. And it's a position that has lifelong Terminator fans hoping for Genisys' success in China in order to guarantee a sequel that will once again have Arnold Schwarzenegger destroying his adversaries as the beloved Terminator. Don't give up hope Terminator fans: Paramount has a lot to gain by green-lighting the sequels and China is ready to show it's love for the Terminator!
He'll Be Back!
Terminator: Genisys hits theatres in China on August 23rd, 2015.