The Terminator was back at the box office this weekend – albeit with considerably less firepower than many had anticipated.
Though it managed a first place debut, Paramount’s Terminator: Dark Fate came in at the very low end of expectations with an estimated $29.4 million from 4,086 locations, which counts as the widest release ever for an installment in the long-running franchise. That’s slightly above the $27 million opening for the last film in the series, 2015’s Terminator Genisys, but well below 2009’s Terminator: Salvation ($42.5 million) and 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines ($44 million). In fact, it even fell short of Terminator 2: Judgment Day’s $31.7 million debut from just 2,274 screens in 1991 — an amount that would equal roughly $59.7 million in today’s dollars.
Dark Fate may have taken a hit from mixed reviews (it’s currently at 69% on Rotten Tomatoes), which did little to inspire confidence among fans who have, on the whole, come away disappointed by the post-Terminator 2 entries in the franchise. That said, audience sentiment among those who have seen the film has been mainly positive; in addition to a healthy B+ Cinemascore, its Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score currently stands at an encouraging 85% with 2,238 reviews counted. That said, the film doesn’t seem to have expanded much beyond its core fan base of older adult males, who were likely drawn by the return of Terminator and T2 star Linda Hamilton and franchise creator James Cameron (who came back as a producer for the new installment and also helped craft the story) in addition to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has appeared in every Terminator film except Salvation.
Unfortunately, Dark Fate has an uphill battle ahead of it, particularly given the film’s reported $185 million budget (reportedly split three ways between Paramount, production company Skydance and Fox, which is handling the overseas release). No doubt, lots of ground will need to be made up overseas to account for the film’s shortfall domestically. (Notably, Genisys brought in over three times the amount internationally as it did in North America.)
Coming in second once again was Joker, which brought in an estimated $13.9 million in its fifth frame – a drop of just 28% from last weekend. The Warner Bros. comic book thriller now has a sizzling $299.6 million to date, putting it in seventh place all-time among DC Comics movies, just ahead of Man of Steel ($291 million) and behind Suicide Squad ($325.1 million). It will pass the $300 million mark early this week.
Falling to third place after narrowly beating out Joker for the top spot last weekend was Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which brought in an estimated $12.2 million in its third weekend for a total of $84.3 million to date. That’s a solid hold for the Disney sequel, which still has a few weeks to go before Disney stablemate Frozen 2 gobbles up the family audience. While the follow-up has been a notable disappointment at the box office in North America — by the same point in its run, the first Maleficent had already grossed $163 million — it has brought in over three times as much overseas, helping take some of the sting out of its Stateside performance.
Debuting better than expected in fourth place was Focus Features’ Harriet, which brought in an estimated $12 million from 2,086 screens. The Harriet Tubman biopic rose above some decidedly lukewarm reviews (it’s at 72% on Rotten Tomatoes) to draw in moviegoers not interested in predatory robots. Long-term prospects for the film look good, particularly when taking into account its perfect “A+” Cinemascore and rock-solid 98% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes (from 1,693 ratings to date). According to encouraging exit polls released by the studio, 81% of moviegoers also rated the film a “Definite recommend,” while the opening weekend audience skewed heavily female (62%), African-American (49%) and older (59% of the film’s audience was over the age of 35).
Falling to fifth was United Artists’ The Addams Family, which fell just 29% from last weekend to an estimated $8.5 million in its fourth weekend of release. That gives the leggy animated reboot a solid $85.2 million to date.
In sixth place, Zombieland: Double Tap dropped 38% to an estimated $7.3 million in its third weekend, bringing the Sony sequel to $59.3 million so far. The horror-comedy follow-up is currently pacing roughly 2% behind the first Zombieland, which had $60.6 million by the same point in its run (though of course ticket prices were considerably lower a decade ago).
Countdown held well in its sophomore frame, dropping just 34% to $5.8 million in seventh place and bringing the STX horror film to $17.7 million through ten days of release. Also in its second weekend was the crime drama Black and Blue, which landed in eighth place, dropping 51% to an estimated $4.05 million for a total of $15.4 million to date.
The bottom rungs of the Top 10 were occupied by the weekend’s other two wide releases, Warner Bros.’ Motherless Brooklyn and Entertainment Studios’ Arctic Dogs. The former finished in ninth with an estimated $3.6 million from 1,332 screens — a soft debut that mirrored a distinct lack of hype for the lukewarmly-reviewed crime drama starring, written and directed by Edward Norton, who led a cast that also includes Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Alec Baldwin.
The weekend’s biggest casualty was Arctic Dogs, which grossed an extremely disappointing $3.1 million from 2,844 locations. That makes the animated family title – which didn’t even rack up enough reviews to merit a Rotten Tomatoes score – one of the worst openings ever for a film debuting on more than 2,500 screens. The film was hobbled by the continued strong presence of Maleficent and The Addams Family, a lack of recognizable IP and a generic marketing campaign that did little to distinguish it from similar animated titles.
Sitting outside the Top 10 was A24’s The Lighthouse, which expanded to 978 screens after a successful expansion to 586 last frame. The acclaimed Robert Eggers-directed horror film brought in an estimated $2 million, giving it a so-so $2,067 per-screen average and a total of $7 million after three weekends of release.
Jojo Rabbit expanded to 256 locations in its third weekend and took in an estimated $2.4 million for a healthy per-screen average of $9.3K. The Fox Searchlight title (released by Disney) has $4.2 million in North America to date.
Disney (via Fox International) opened Terminator: Dark Fate in nearly 60 markets this weekend and brought in an estimated $72.9 million, bringing its overseas cume to $94.6 million and its global tally to $123.6 million. That includes a $28 million opening in China (where the release is being handled by Tencent), $9.8 million in Korea and $4.2 million in Russia.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil brought in an estimated $40.5 million in 56 territories, bringing its total to a solid $298.9 million internationally and $383.2 million worldwide. The Disney sequel has brought in $46.9 million in China, $28.2 million in Russia and $19.2 million in Mexico.
Joker continued to post strong number overseas, bringing in an estimated $37 million in 79 markets for an international total of $634.4 million and a global cume of $934 million. The Warner Bros. title now looks all but certain to cross the $1 billion mark — an extraordinary feat, particularly for a film that never saw a release in China. Top-grossing countries to date include the U.K. ($64.1 million), Mexico ($41.7 million), Japan ($37.5 million), Korea ($37.3 million), France ($35.7 million), Brazil ($33.3 million), Germany ($32.9 million) and Italy ($30.2 million).
The Addams Family opened in 14 international markets this weekend and came away with an estimated $25.9 million overseas, including $6.1 million in Russia and $1.3 million in Brazil. The animated reboot now has $44 million internationally and $129.3 million worldwide.
Warner Bros.’ Doctor Sleep opened in 9 European markets this weekend and brought in an estimated $5.6 million, including $1.9 million in the U.K. and $1.3 million in Italy. The Shining sequel hits North American shores next Friday.
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, NOV. 1 – SUN, NOV. 3
|1||Terminator: Dark Fate||$29,000,000||—||4,086||—||$7,097||$29,000,000||1||Paramount|
|3||Maleficent: Mistress of Evil||$12,175,000||-37%||3,820||30||$3,187||$84,324,711||3||Disney|
|5||The Addams Family||$8,499,007||-29%||3,607||-600||$2,356||$85,295,007||4||United Artists Releasing|
|6||Zombieland: Double Tap||$7,350,000||-38%||3,337||-131||$2,203||$59,307,162||3||Sony Pictures|
|8||Black and Blue||$4,050,000||-52%||2,062||0||$1,964||$15,442,478||2||Sony / Screen Gems|
|9||Motherless Brooklyn||$3,650,000||—||1,342||—||$2,720||$3,650,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|10||Arctic Dogs||$3,100,000||—||2,844||—||$1,090||$3,100,000||1||Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures|
|11||Gemini Man||$1,800,000||-56%||1,872||-1136||$962||$46,834,069||4||Paramount Pictures|
|12||The Current War||$1,236,000||-53%||1,082||60||$1,142||$4,981,233||2||101 Studios|
|2||Jojo Rabbit||$2,401,000||130%||256||201||$9,379||$4,286,236||3||Fox Searchlight|
|4||Downton Abbey||$1,200,000||-38%||912||-746||$1,316||$94,520,540||7||Focus Features|
|5||Judy||$582,625||-52%||604||-527||$965||$22,928,554||6||Roadside Attractions / LD Entertainment|
|8||Pain and Glory||$348,315||-13%||111||-6||$3,138||$2,171,337||5||Sony Pictures Classics|
|9||The Lion King||$113,000||-23%||158||-41||$715||$543,351,323||16||Walt Disney Pictures|
|10||The Peanut Butter Falcon||$110,425||-7%||122||-44||$905||$20,255,191||13||Roadside Attractions|
|11||Ad Astra||$93,000||-66%||137||-188||$679||$49,547,276||7||20th Century Fox|
|12||Rambo: Last Blood||$71,000||-66%||205||-231||$346||$44,689,981||7||Lionsgate|
|13||Toy Story 4||$63,000||1%||105||-16||$600||$433,885,761||20||Disney|
|1||Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice||$90,374||-38%||94||-53||$961||$3,968,676||9||Greenwich Entertainment|
|3||Fantastic Fungi||$47,440||-23%||24||10||$1,977||$390,444||7||Area 23a|
|4||Where’s My Roy Cohn?||$36,210||-28%||64||13||$566||$646,105||7||Sony Pictures Classics|
|5||Jexi||$27,500||-79%||87||-235||$316||$6,532,008||4||Lionsgate / CBS / Entertainment One|
|6||Frankie||$26,259||35%||11||7||$2,387||$52,361||2||Sony Pictures Classics|
|8||Official Secrets||$13,162||-37%||25||-20||$526||$1,980,482||10||IFC Films|
|11||By the Grace of God||$4,296||-51%||8||2||$537||$30,439||3||Music Box Films|