It appears that Terminator Salvation is going to be (pun alert!) terminated at the box office on its opening weekend, by none other than the family-friendly Ben Stiller comedy/adventure sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
The final numbers from the Memorial Day long weekend have yet to be tallied, but as of now, it appears that Night at the Museum 2 has a clear lock on the no. 1 spot at the U.S. box office.
Here are the numbers for the weekend:
Night at the Museum 2 grossed $53.5 million from 4,096 theaters between Friday and Sunday. Terminator Salvation grossed approx $43 million from 3,530 theaters, making Night at the Museum 2 the clear winner of the weekend domestic box office race.
Of course those figures exclude Terminator Salvation's opening day earnings: Salvation premiered at midnight on Thursday (instead of the usual Friday opening) and earned $13.6 million that day, bringing its cumulative total to $56.4 million from Thurs to Sun.
However, that extra bit of earnings isn't going to be enough: Night at the Museum 2 also came in no. 2 at the international box office, earning $50.1 million from 8,100 theaters in 93 overseas markets, setting the film's worldwide gross earnings at approx $103 million. Terminator Salvation won't open in international markets (or see those kinds of earnings) for another two weeks.
Suffice to say these current box office figures are a disappointment for Terminator Salvation director McG and studios Sony and Warner Bros., who invested $75 million and $50 million respectively in T4 (not including marketing costs). Doesn't look like that investment is going to pay off like they hoped.
A second week resurgence for Terminator Salvation seems unlikely. Screen Rant's review of Terminator Salvation is mixed at best, and if our Terminator Salvation discussion forum is any indication, audiences are echoing that mixed reaction. It's Watchmen all over again. And, with Pixar's UP hitting theaters next weekend (in Disney digital 3-D no less!), moviegoers both young and old are going to have the perfect excuse for not checking out Terminator Salvation.
Will this underwhelming performance at the box office affect McG's plans for Terminator 5? (Let's hope so, if he still plans to go ahead with that ridiculous time travel plot he's been hinting at. The plot of T4 was shotty enough...)
Terminator Salvation and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian are both currently in theaters.