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We're still a few weeks away from the release of the sixth film in the Terminator franchise, Dark Fate, but early box office projections reveal the latest installment could be among the biggest in the series. Deadline reports that early predictions for the film's opening weekend performance estimate it could earn more than $40 million domestically on its opening weekend, and those estimates are among the more conservative.
Dark Fate is set up as a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, in an effort to sidestep certain disappointing sequels within the frachise and place it firmly in the lineage of the James Cameron-helmed first two installments of the series. Terminator and Terminator 2 still rank among the best sci-fi action films ever as far as many fans are concerned, and Dark Fate is hoping to retain some of that legendary prowess with Cameron back onboard the franchise as producer and original star Linda Hamilton returning to the fray as Sarah Connor. Throw in Arnold Schwarzenegger as the legendary T-800 and returning Terminator 2 star Edward Furlong as John Connor, and you've got a film that's leaning hard into the glory days of the franchise, which the filmmakers are hoping will translate to big box office dollars for the film.
Deadline's report also notes that Dark Fate is also about to up its TV ad buys in a big way in the lead-up to its release in November, which will only add more eyeballs and more anticipation, particularly with Schwarzenegger and Hamilton continually popping up in footage alongside new stars like Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes. With all of that in mind, marking the film for $40 million and change could be a very conservative estimate indeed.
Should it perform even a little above expectations, Dark Fate stands to surpass the $44 million three-day opening of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines to set a franchise record for best opening weekend (though, of course, tickets were a bit cheaper back when T2 opened with $31 million in 1991). Some less conservative projections are even suggesting the box office total may be something even higher, with some of Deadline's sources comparing the potential opening to Mission: Impossible - Fallout ($61.2 million).
It's important to keep in mind that these are still very early estimates, but so far Dark Fate has a lot going for it. It's still got a couple of weeks to drum up more buzz, it's got returning stars and a legendary returning producer, and director Tim Miller has promised fans the kind of hard-R action they crave from a Terminator flick. We'll see if the box office projections prove correct when Terminator: Dark Fate arrives in theaters November 1.