Monday, November 4, 2019


All right guys, I haven't done a detailed movie review in a long time..... today I'll talk about Terminator Dark Fate, which came out this past weekend.  And there will be some SPOILERS, because I can't avoid it as I explain some issues / problems with the flick. And I'll give you 5 Points in my long rant.

That's one of the promotional shots for the movie shown on the right, featuring Dani, Grace and Sarah Connor. I'll talk about them later.

[1.] First of all... the movie bombed, really bad. And apart from a few young-hearted fanboys that give a thumbs-up to everything [you can find a few of them on Youtube too], the general consensus was that the movie had a strong feminist agenda behind it. Btw, strong / courageous female leads in action movies is not a new concept... there was a movie called Alien, released almost 40 years ago in 1979, which had a female lead.

Anyway, the former Terminator movie released back in 2015 called Terminator Genisys made 27 Million dollars in the opening weekend, before making 89 million domestically in the summer of 2015, and also 440 million globally.
And this new movie Terminator Dark Fate has made 28 - 29 million in its opening weekend, although exact numbers are still being awaited at this time. And it was projected to make 125 million globally by Hollywood forecasters... and that didn't happen.

This new movie wasn't expected by the studio or even the critics to open that low - they were hoping for 50 - 60 million domestically. And when the prices are adjusted for inflation, then the older older Terminator Genisys movie from 2015 did better. Plus Terminator Dark Fate had a budget of 185 million Dollars, before the extra marketing budget, which can run up to 50 million.... so.... damn, they're in trouble.

[2.]  Sometimes fans think that the foreign box office will save a movie... but that's not always the case... You see, a movie exec / an insider talked about it some years ago in an article for an entertainment Website. Can't remember who the guy was. But what he said was very insightful to me. He revealed that every foreign country takes a cut of the imported movie's profits; hence the American Studio is not allowed to go to China, Indonesia or Belgium, and milk them dry and take away 100% of the foreign gross, and depart with it.
Instead, the foreign country and its government take roughly 60% of any Profit that comes from the American movie, and then they give the rest of the money to the American Studio. Often, the American Studio has to establish a foreign office that receives the money first; and in that case, even less of the 40% gets back to the American branch, because of foreign Taxes.

Even when you sit and think about it, you realize the truth in what that executive was saying... after all, you can't take a product overseas, sell it in a foreign mall, get all the money, and never pay a dime to the people that hosted you over there or to their government. It's like you came to steal from their economy and go back to your country with their wealth....

[3.]  So now that you consider that issue, and you realize that Terminator Dark Fate has made 28.5 million [estimated] domestically in the USA, and it has made 94 million Overseas so far, then that really does not help the fact that the stated budget was 185 million or more, [and the marketing over several months is at least 50 million extra, for foreign and domestic showcases].
Hence from the foreign / overseas movie ticket sales, the movie is going to take Less Than Half of the 94 million, because all the foreign territories will take different cuts and they never share it 50 - 50 with the American Studio.

Thus the American movie studios always want to make as much profit as possible in the first few days / first weeks from the overseas markets, because it really helps them in their overall gains, when the movie is very profitable. And ticket sales tend to go down from week to week, since newer movies keep coming out to draw away the audience.

[You may need to click on the hotlink that says "Read More" located below on the right side, to see the rest of this article!]

[4.]  Now, lets move into the movie content / core themes:
When the trailers for Terminator Dark Fate were released, there were obvious themes of a strong feminist agenda - it's not necessary, when you have an entertaining badass story, intended for a vast audience of male & female action fans.
Plus, in the new movie, John Connor, one of the former male leads in the original Terminator movies [Terminator 1 released back in 1984 and Terminator 2 released in 1991], was killed off in the first few moments of the new flick.
And a new savior of mankind was revealed to be a young girl called Dani Ramos [shown on the left in the pic above]... and the new protector of the savior is a female cyborg called Grace [shown in the middle]. In true terminator fashion, Grace is sent back from the future, into the present chaotic times, to protect Dani. And they are both guided by Sarah Connor, an original actress / a character from the former movies [shown on the right side, above].

They are the three ladies, leading the charge to save humanity, due to a crisis of killer machines / cyborgs taking over everything, all over the world - Nothing wrong with that.
But the way the story was told, it was bland and unoriginal... and you never really felt like the fate of humankind was at stake.
The story itself had lots of action and explosions, with a new Liquid-Morphing T-cyborg-BadGuy, and cool CGI shots, and also some CGI that looked a bit too cartoony and not realistic; but overall, it was not very appealing. It was like they were trying too hard to do something that had already been done before with higher stakes and a higher level of urgency and fear.

[5.] And Arnold Schwarzenegger, the original Terminator, makes a cameo... but he is reduced to a family guy who sells drapes / curtains... and he has a wife, but he has never had sex with her... so basically, he is a neutered cyborg husband, with no true passion for violence in a post apocalyptic world. And it seems like he is at peace with the fact that his era is over.... truthfully, he should have been the one training the next cyborg, Grace. That would he been so much more appealing to watch and see; imagine the veteran master and the eager trigger-happy apprentice fighting together, as Grace learns to do what Arnold had done for so many past years.

Plus the older mentor lady Sarah Connor kept saying that the new little girl, Dani, is the new John Connor [indicating that she was destined to replace her dead son], which is not really a good point to hammer, because that girl shouldn't be like J. Connor... instead, she should be herself, and possibly, be Greater than John, without stepping upon his legacy in anyway... just be yourself, and be your own kind of hero, not like some dead guy that you've never even met / you never got to know well, before he died at the beginning segments of the movie.

Nevertheless, the marketing of the new movie [both the trailers, commercials and the statement made by the director and some actresses] did have a strong anti-male push... it was like this movie was created for the female audience, to show how strong women are.

Yes, women are strong, intelligent and independent. But... most women don't have the greatest interest in going to see a movie about a killer cyborg, and they won't go and watch it 5 times with their friends in the movie theaters because they loved the gory bloodshed and horrific violence.

When a movie has strong voices from the directors and the cast that attack & alienate the fans prior to the movie's debut, then even the hardcore supporters of the franchise & the lovers of the action genre will not be interested in supporting it.
Hence it's always wise to know your audience, and to focus on giving them a great story, as opposed to releasing something that hammers an agenda in their face, over and over again.

All right, I've said enough for today. You can go and see the movie if you want... or you can just go read a book, like one  of the 22 ebooks from the DSNG Sci Fi Series :)  And my ebooks are over HERE: