‘Terminator’ Falters at Box Office


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Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator Genisys.”Credit Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures

“Old, but not obsolete.” Arnold Schwarzenegger repeatedly deadpanned that line in “Terminator Genisys,” which opened on Wednesday, but a lot of moviegoers in North America decided otherwise.

“Terminator Genisys,” which cost Skydance Media and Paramount Pictures at least $155 million to make, took in an estimated $28.7 million over the weekend, for a five-day total of $44.2 million, according to Rentrak, which compiles box office data. Paramount had hoped for a five-day total of $50 million to $55 million.

The opening box office results for “Terminator Genisys,” which returned Mr. Schwarzenegger to his signature cyborg role, were among the worst in the five-movie “Terminator” series, which began in 1984. The movie did much better overseas, where Mr. Schwarzenegger’s star power is brighter; “Terminator Genisys” has so far taken in $85.5 from partial release in international markets, Paramount said.

Bad reviews likely played a role in the United States and Canada. “The critics were a notch more negative than we expected, which definitely set us back coming off ‘Terminator 4,’ which was not well liked,” Rob Moore, Paramount’s vice chairman, said by telephone on Sunday. He was referencing “Terminator Salvation,” which cost $200 million to make and was rejected by audiences and critics alike in 2009. (“Terminator Salvation” was released by Warner Bros.)

Mr. Moore noted that the crowd that did turn out for “Terminator Genisys” seemed to enjoy it. It received a B-plus grade in CinemaScore exit polls.

The film also ran into stronger-than-expected competition. The No. 1 movie over the Fourth of July weekend was “Jurassic World” (Universal Pictures), which collected about $30.9 million, for a four-week domestic total of $558.2 million.

Pixar’s “Inside Out” (Walt Disney Studios) was a close second, selling about $30.1 million in tickets, for a three-week domestic total of $246.2 million.

Then came “Terminator Genisys,” followed by another new underperforming wide release: “Magic Mike XXL” (Warner Bros.) took in about $12 million, for a total since opening on Wednesday of $27.1 million. The first “Magic Mike” had opening-weekend sales of $39.1 million in 2012 – but the sequel only cost about $15 million to make.

Also of note: “Amy” (A24), a documentary about the singer Amy Winehouse, who died of alcohol poisoning in 2011, took in $222,015 from just six theaters, one of the best limited debuts of the year.



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