The “Terminator” franchise is … shall we say, inconsistent. The first two films in the series are almost universally-beloved; the original has a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while the sequel sits at an impressive 93% Fresh. After that, things got convoluted; after all, when your series sets the date for the end of the world in 1997, any “Terminator” movies made after that point tend to tie themselves in knots to explain why we’re all still kicking.
Enter “Terminator: Dark Fate,” a 2019 sequel that was supposed to right the ship. James Cameron, who directed the first two movies and returned to produce this sequel, told Deadline that he had such confidence in the film that he felt it could launch a whole new trilogy. “When we got a handle on something we looked at it as a three-film arc,” he said, “so there is a greater story there to be told. If we get fortunate enough to make some money with ‘Dark Fate’ we know exactly where we can go with the subsequent films.” The film also saw the return of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner, an iconic character, after almost 30 years away from the franchise. Fans, understandably, were excited.
Unfortunately, despite decent reviews, “Dark Fate” was not successful enough to reignite the series. According to Deadline, the film’s opening weekend box office fell far short of expectations, drawing only $29 million. Ultimately, the film was estimated to represent a loss of $122.6 million.