The RedState Box Office Report - A Terminal Performance

Terminator promotional art courtesy Paramount Pictures
Terminator promotional art courtesy Paramount Pictures

The franchise needs to go back to a more successful time.

With a Halloween hangover and an eye towards the awards season, it turns out there was something of a lull between them as audiences were tepid in going to theaters. A major series is being rebooted with all the major names attached, and they failed to latch on to the desired excitement. The total box office haul was down more than -20% from last year, when there was an advanced nod to The Oscars with ‘’Bohemian Rhapsody’’ opening.

With no releases arriving with serious awards aspirations, it seems the arthouse crowds stayed away, but the kids and the action fans were not so lured either. Here are the figures from a muted weekend of activity.

1. TERMINATOR; DARK FATE – $29.0 Million
Paramount has its second big disaster in the matter of weeks, following the bomb that was ‘’Gemini Man’’. Early projections saw this coming in with a $40-45 million, but then the studio began giving softer expectations of $35 million, and then it became apparent by Saturday this would be a massive disappointment. The early posters and promotional stills looked like it was a plea for the millennial crowd, but the return of Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger failed to draw in fans of the franchise. With a budget of anywhere between $180-200 million this is a dire return. Further marring things is this title also failed to meet expectations in China, which leads to a question — how much will the studios lose on the venture? After production costs the title will need to clear almost $500 million to break even.

2. JOKER – $13.92M
The smash for Warners is continuing to impress with only a -29% drop over last week. Internationally is also showing strong long term health. It is believed this film that almost was not made by the studio will now be able to reach the $1 billion milestone.

3. MALEFICENT-MISTRESS OF EVIL – $12.17m
A bit of a letdown for the House of Mouse, but this is looking to at the least make it to the $100 million level. This will become Disney’s SEVENTH film to earnplateauxhat number this year, with ‘’Frozen’’ and ‘’Star Wars’’ still approaching.

4. HARRIET – $12.0M
This is a historical biopic on the life of Harriet Tubman. It is also a big surprise. Many speculated this would make in the mid-to-high single digit return. As the weekend unrolled it continued to draw better than expected, and this is a small scale success story already.

5. THE ADDAMS FAMILY – $8.49m
Edging its way to the $100 million mark to become a moderate hit.

6. ZOMBIELAND-DOUBLE TAP – $7.53m
At the $65 million mark to this point, so it is just $10 million away from the total earned by the original.

7. COUNTDOWN – $5.85M
The lone horror release for the Halloween holiday, while not being particularly good it has held relatively well, dropping only -34% in week two.

8. BLACK AND BLUE – $4.05m
The police procedural has benefitted somewhat by the soft returns at the top of the list, falling just -51% despite a light amount of advertising and word of mouth.

9. MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN – $3.65m
A film noir set in the 1950s made by Edward Norton, who co-stars with Bruce Willis. Might be a bit of Oscar-baiting taking place, but Warner Brothers is stretching a bit in positioning this for a trophy.

10. ARCTIC DOGS – $3.1m
The small-time distributor Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures attempted to find a small audience to come out for this animated family lark. It failed to do so. The studio was hoping for a return of around ten million, with some industry analysts predicting a few million less. That it failed to hit those numbers by a wide margin is a dismal performance.