Though the sixth installment in the "Terminator" franchise
landed in first place on domestic box office charts, the results
are less than promising given the film's $185 million budget.
Heading into the weekend, the movie was expected to collect over
$40 million during its first three days in theaters. Those
figures seemed attainable since reviews were strong and audience
sentiment was overwhelmingly positive.
International audiences could give the film a boost. Overseas,
"Terminator: Dark Fate" earned another $72.9 million. Disney is
releasing the movie in all foreign territories aside from China,
where Tencent Pictures is handling distribution.
"Dark Fate" reunites series creator James Cameron with stars
Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first
"Terminator" movie since 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day."
They were joined by new cast members Mackenzie Davis, Natalia
Reyes and Gabriel Luna. In this installment, Sarah Connor
(Hamilton) must protect a young girl from a deadly new
Terminator from the future. Tim Miller ("Deadpool") directed
from a screenplay by David S. Goyer ("The Dark Knight,"
"Blade"), Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray.
"Terminator" might not be the only film with a dark fate at
multiplexes. Edward Norton's "Motherless Brooklyn" barely
cracked the top 10, generating a paltry $3.6 million when it
bowed in 2,720 North American theaters. The neo-noir crime
drama, based on Jonathan Lethem's novel, cost $26 million. In
addition to writing and directing the long-gestating film,
Norton stars as a private investigator with Tourette syndrome
who works to solve the murder of his mentor. The cast also
includes Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale and Alec
Fellow new release, Focus Features' "Harriet," had a far more
promising start at the domestic box office, arriving at No. 4
with $12 million from 2,059 venues, ahead of expectations. The
film boasts a rare A+ Cinemascore from audiences, signaling the
historical drama could continue to benefit from positive word of
mouth. Older female moviegoers drove "Harriet's" opening weekend
sales: 62% were women and 59% were over the age of 35. African
Americans accounted for nearly 50% of ticket buyers.
"Harriet" carries a $17 million production budget, which should
help it pave a clear path toward profitability. Adding to the
plaudits for Focus Features, it's the first specialty studio in
15 years with two back-to-back films that debuted above $10
million. In September, the company released "Downton Abbey,"
which launched with a better-than-expected $31 million.
[to top of second column]
"Harriet" centers on Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo), the
abolitionist who led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom on the
Underground Railroad. Kasi Lemmons directed the film, which also
stars Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn and Janelle Monae.
"Audiences have been unanimous for their love of this film, which is
clear from its A+ CinemaScore and 98% Audience rating on Rotten
Tomatoes," said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features' president of
distribution. "With the story of one woman's strength that literally
change the world we all live in today, it is the feel-great movie
people are looking for -- becoming an event for friends and families
going to see together."
Adds producer Debra Martin Chase, "This is not a slave movie. This
is a movie that says we cannot control the circumstances into which
we are born, but we can control what we do once we get here."
This weekend's final newcomer, Entertainment Studios Motion
Pictures' "Arctic Dogs," lacked much bite, debuting in 10th place
with $3.1 million from 2,844 screens. The kid-friendly animated
adventure about a team of ambitions animals features the voice cast
of Jeremy Renner, Heidi Klum, James Franco and Anjelica Huston.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' "Joker" benefitted from the Halloween
spirit and held steady at No. 2, declining just 29% to $13.6 million
in its fifth weekend of release. "Joker" has generated a huge $299
million in North America and $934 million globally, putting Joaquin
Phoenix's super-villain origin story on track to clear the $1
billion mark worldwide.
Holdovers Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" and MGM's "Addams
Family" rounded out the top five.
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.