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Terminator: Dark Fate disappoints at US box office

The movie reunites stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger with producer James Cameron.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

By Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press

Terminator: Dark Fate has opened well below expectations at the US box office.

Studios estimate the action sequel earned only 29 million US dollars (£22.4 million) from over 4,000 North American locations.

The film from Paramount Pictures cost a reported 185 million dollars (£143 million) to produce.

The movie’s below expectations performance comes despite generally favourable reviews and the return of Terminator 2: Judgment Day stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger and producer James Cameron.

Senior analyst at media measurement firm Comscore Paul Dergarabedian said: “These big brands carry with them huge expectations, often unrealistic expectations. It wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm for the stars and filmmakers.”

Internationally, Dark Fate did much better, earning 72.9 million dollars (£56.35 million) from 48 markets. Fox International, not Paramount, is handling international distribution, excluding China.

But it was enough to win the top spot at the box office. Second place went to Joker, with 13.9 million dollars (£12 million), and third place to Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil which added 12.1 million dollars (£10.45 million). The Angelina Jolie-led sequel has grossed 84.3 million (£65.17 million) in North America.

Focus Features’ Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet performed better than expected, earning 12 million dollars (£10.36 million) from just over 2,000 theatres to take fourth place.

Starring Cynthia Erivo in the title role, the film scored a coveted A+ CinemaScore from audiences, who were primarily female. African Americans also made up a significant portion of the audience, according to exit polls.

Focus Features distribution president Lisa Bunnell said: “It’s really heartwarming and gives you a lot of faith that there are still a lot of people who want to see stories about real life superheroes.

“There’s a real feeling of love for this movie. I think it’s inspirational for people to see.”

Focus did outreach to faith-based groups and educators and has seen enormous success with group sales as a result.

Other newcomers struggled to find that kind of enthusiasm. Edward Norton’s adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn opened in ninth to 3.7 million dollars (£3.19 million), while the animated Arctic Dogs was 10th with 3.1 million dollars (£2.4 million).

One of the highest-profile new films of the weekend, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, does not have any box office numbers to report because Netflix declines to provide numbers for its theatrical releases.

Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, the film which opened in limited release before hitting Netflix on November 27, is expected to be a major Oscars contender.

PA

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