Terminator Genisys is a worldwide success, no actually, it's a worldwide blockbuster. The movie has currently grossed $440,625,951. Let's put that number in persepctive: Genisys is currently the 183rd highest grossing film of all time, the 10th highest grossing film of the year, the 2nd highest grossing in the Terminator franchise and the 2nd highest grossing film of Arnold Schwarzenegger's career. Not so bad for what was once considered a 'flop'. Analysts have also estimated that it will make around $50 million when it's released on Home Video (the DVD and Blu-Ray/3D have already started climbing pre-order charts). So in the end, Paramount will eventually make around $500 million from their installment in the Terminator franchise.
Before Genisys was released, Paramount had Terminator 2 (working title) set for release on May 19, 2017 and Terminator 3 (also working title) set for release on June 29, 2018 (being filmed back to back) as well as a potential TV spin-off series to further the Genisys arc. These plans were put on hold by the original slow success of the film. However, thanks to overseas markets, the film has become a worldwide success. Yes, it's doemstic takings are currently just under $90 million but it's worldwide takings are almost $450 million. Surely, Paramount has to understand that there is still obviously a demand for the Terminator franchise.
There are many reasons for the underperformance in the US. Perhaps most importantly, we should look at the originally slow opening for Terminator Genisys. It was an uphill battle from the beginning. Firstly, it was released on a weekend where the cinema's holdovers were still virtually new and that made them virtually unstoppable. Jurassic World and Inside Out were in the middle of absolutely killing it at the Box Office. Plus, it was the 4th July weekend and families would have opted to go for the more family orientated movies. Thus, it's clear to see why Genisys suffered in the beginning.
There are also those who believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger's star power has faded in the US (clearly not internationally though). However, this doesn't explain the underperformance of the Arnie-less Terminator Salvation. There is also a belief that people are just sick of seeing the franchise continually spawn movies that will never be as good as the first two.
Either way, Paramount must take into account the global success of the film. Yes, a film's success in the US is important, however, if the benefits of worldwide success outweigh the negatives (even if a negative is domestic underperfomance), then it still makes sense for Paramount to go ahead with the two remaining movies in their Terminator trilogy. Plus, there are a few precautions that can be taken to minimize any losses if they go ahead.
First and foremost, decrease the budget. Terminator Genisys had a budget of $155 million (and that's not taking into account the marketing costs). The film's expensive budget was one of the reasons that many were worried that Paramount would not go ahead with the sequels. If the movie hadn't made well over what it cost, what on earth would convince them to make a sequel? Well the fact of the matter is, the film has almost tripled it's budget. So, I think it's safe to classify Genisys as a global success. Having said that, Paramount won't want to take the same risk again. Thus, the answer is simple, give the sequel a smaller budget. If there is less spent on it, there is less on the line. Now, I am not trying to say that they should give it a low budget, just a lower one. I'm well aware of the fact that times have changed and inflation has altered the value of money over the years. But I would pose this to Paramount. Look at the first two films. While this point is definitely more aimed towards T2, I'll include the first one anyways because it would be wrong not to. The legendary 1984 epic, The Terminator was made on a budget of $6 million and ended up a roaring success, launching the franchise. Now obviously, no one is suggesting to give T6 a budget like this. That would be ridiculous in today's day and age. What I'm really suggesting is that Paramount look closely at Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The most successful film of the franchise and universally regarded as the greatest sequel ever made, T2 became a revolutionary force for film, especially when it came to special effects. It eventually went on to earn $519,843,345. All this ciritcal acclaim and success was accomplished on a budget of $94 million. Again, granted, it was different time. However, in today's day and age, anything is possible. Perhaps Paramount could achieve a more successful sequel if they lowered the budget. When it comes to the Terminator franchise, yes we do want to see stunning visual effects. However, more importantly we want to be thrilled by the story. A smaller budget may allow them to focus more on the story. T1 and T2 were made on smaller budgets and are still renowned as two of the greatest films ever made. So it's safe to say that a lower budget is a good idea that will not hinder the movie.
Perhaps the next most important factor is release date. Had Paramount released Terminator Genisys when there was less competition at the box office, it would have been shoe-in for #1 domestically (it had two runs at #1 Internationally). But because of the sheer domination from the holdovers, Genisys finished at #3 in the domestic Box Office. So, it's clear to see that Genisys would have potentially have been more successful in it's first week (it's really the most important) had Jurassic World and Inside Out not been holding the top two positions. Thus, Paramount could obtain more success with Terminator 6 if their chosen release week does not have as much competition.
Furthermore, another way Paramount could benefit from it is by perhaps adding another big name. Or another big Terminator name. This may reinvigorate former fans who have given up on the franchise to see Terminator 6 in the theatres. I recall a recent interview where David Ellision claimed that Paramount's Terminator 2 (Really T6) would feature a familiar face from the actual Terminator 2 (Judgment Day). That could really boost the popularity! Yes, to many, Arnie isn't as much of a draw domestically as he once was but he still has star power, and let's be honest, we all know it would never work without him. So adding another star could really up the 'wow' factor, especially for casual fans.
Finally, one of the issues with Genisys was the trailer. The trailer spoiled the biggest twist in the film. A twist that if we had seen in the cinema, we would have been genuinely shocked. However, it was also a twist that would have angered many fans of the franchise. Revealing this twist in the trailer may have instantly turned those fans off going to see the film. There has been a lot of criticism of trailers this year, with the Terminator Genisys trailer being at the top of those complaints lists. Thus, if Paramount go ahead with the sequel, they should create nothing short of a brilliant trailer...that doesn't give away the majority of the big scenes in the film.
So in conclusion, Paramount is most likely currently trying to decide (if they haven't already) if they should go ahead with the Terminator Genisys sequels before the rights revert back to James Cameron in 2019. Well I really think that it's clear that they should go ahead with the sequels. If they lower the budget and market it right, design a strong plot with a foolproof trailer and perhaps most importantly, release it at the right time, then the sequel should be a success story. There are so many ways to ensure that the film is a success and there is clearly still a demand for the Terminator franchise. Terminator Genisys was and is a unique success story and now fans want the sequels they were promised.
Dear Paramount, there is still a massive demand for the Terminator franchise, if you do it right, you can seriously make a really successful trilogy. DON'T GIVE UP on the Terminator! He'll Be Back! :)
Thanks for reading!
Terminator Genisys arrives on Digital HD on October 20th and DVD/Blu-Ray/3D on November 10th!