Terminator Genisys is charting on Amazon Prime Video.
James Cameron’s initial Terminator films are amongst some of the most revered action flicks in Hollywood history. Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t continue in the latter installments, as the franchise got progressively worse after Terminator 2. Apparently, people are still intrigued enough to check out these entries, as FlixPatrol reported Terminator Genisys is currently #9 on Amazon Prime’s Top Ten this week.
Terminator Genisys was a reboot that attempted to take the franchise in a new direction while leaving the events of previous movies in the past. The film follows Kyle Reese who is sent back from his post-apocalyptic future to prevent the death of Sarah Connor, only to end up in a Skynet-altered timeline where Sarah Connor was raised by a reprogrammed terminator. Alan Taylor directed the film, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J. K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matt Smith Courtney B. Vance, Michael Gladis, Sandrine Holt, and Lee Byung-hun.
It would be a bit hyperbolic to say that Terminator Genisys was an absolute commercial bomb. Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to one of his most beloved roles and Emilia Clarke starring at the height of Game of Thrones hype was undoubtedly enough to get people to head to the theaters. The film, despite overwhelmingly negative reviews, managed to pull in over $440 million worldwide.
However, $440 million worldwide wasn’t up to the expectations the studios set for Terminator Genisys, as they canceled two sequels and a spin-off TV series. The negative reception undoubtedly contributed to this decision, as the movie still holds a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest rating out of all the entries to the franchise. Clearly, the reboot plans had to be scrapped.
Terminator Genisys wouldn’t be the ultimate end to the franchise though, as Hollywood always likes to return to the well if potential money can be had. The studios would return to said well in 2019. The reboot plans were left behind, and they decided to make Terminator: Dark Fate, which picked up after Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
They pulled it off too, as Terminator: Dark Fate was a marked improvement over Terminator Genisys. While it didn’t live up to the lofty highs of the original films, it was a better film overall. It currently holds a respectable 70% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Of course, critical success does not always equal commercial success. Either people still had a bad taste in their mouths from Terminator Genisys, or there just wasn’t enough interest in the franchise anymore, but Terminator: Dark Fate ended up being one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. It grossed $261 million worldwide which led to a financial loss of $122.6 million.
While critical praise might be a palm for the studios, it’s rarely enough to get them to greenlight more films in a money-losing franchise. The negative reception of Terminator Genisys and the huge financial losses of Terminator: Dark Fate means that we shouldn’t be expecting any major films in the franchise to be announced anytime soon. While there have been reports and rumors of a new reboot series being discussed, there’s nothing solid in the works.
James Cameron himself commented on the state of the franchise during his Avatar: The Way of Water press tour saying bringing back Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton probably wasn’t the best idea. His reasoning essentially boiled down to the fact that the movie wasn’t appealing to new and young audiences and was really only serving those who have been waiting for decades for a Terminator 2 sequel. While Cameron may be right, Terminator Genisys sort of proved that a new continuity won’t really work either.
Perhaps Terminator Genisys and Terminator: Dark Fate prove that there’s not really much desire from audiences to revisit the franchise at the theaters. However, there is hope for the franchise yet, as Netflix announced in 2021 that they would be making a Terminator anime series with Skydance Media, Mattson Tomlin, and Production I.G. That seems like a great medium for the franchise, but unfortunately, there has been little news about the series since it was announced.
While we wait and hope for a Terminator anime series, all we can really do is revisit the previous films. If you truly want to see how low the franchise can sink, you can check out Terminator Genisys now on Amazon Prime. Otherwise, you might be better off seeking the original two movies elsewhere.