September 12, 2019
After a string of sequels that have failed to hit the mark, James Cameron may be turning to strong women to rescue the franchise. Will it work?
Can shifting to a female-focused future overcome Terminator: Dark Fates bad buzz?
The pages of Hollywood history are littered with failed attempts to propel movies towards box office and critical success. To pinpoint the basic construct of a film that is likely to appeal to audiences and critics alike is a virtually impossible task. Just ask the Disney executives who chose to remove the “of Mars” suffix from the big-budget 2012 adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic planetary romance novel John Carter of Mars, (ostensibly because previous movies mentioning the red planet had bombed), only to see a perfectly decent fantasy flick lose more than $200m at the box office. Or the executives who felt Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi masterpiece, Blade Runner, was so confusing that it needed a tacked-on happy ending and Harrison Ford voiceover to smooth away all those jagged edges. The result was a movie that languished in critical purgatory for a decade until Scott released his seminal director’s cut in 1992.
On the other hand, there are movies that everyone knows are going to struggle. Sadly for James Cameron and Tim Miller, producer and director of the forthcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, it appears the latest sequel to Cameron’s classic has already been written off. Reports suggest the film, which restores the timeline – and to a certain extent the main cast – overseen by Cameron in the original 1984 movie and its groundbreaking 1991 follow-up Terminator 2: Judgment Day, will open to just $35-40m at the key US box office.
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