When then-rising star Arnold Schwarzenegger's evil cyborg told an unsuspecting cop "I'll be back" before proceeding to wage a murderous assault on a police station in James Cameron's original 1984 Terminator, few could have anticipated just how right he would be. Hauling in $78 million worldwide on a budget of $6 million, The Terminator would become one of the defining sci-fi and action films of the '80s, and spawn a franchise that has earned more than 1.8 billion at the worldwide box office.
Unfortunately, the Terminator series has fallen victim to the law of diminishing returns in a major way. 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines has its fans, but 2009 prequel Terminator: Salvation was received so poorly that plans to continue that film's story with a new trilogy were almost immediately canceled. 2015's Terminator: Genisys brought back an aging Arnold to try and revitalize the franchise, but it didn't work, and once again plans for a new trilogy were canned.
Thankfully, Cameron himself is now set to return for the next attempt at revamping the universe he created, with Deadpool director Tim Miller set to helm the project. While fans wait for that film to come to fruition though, they can take solace in the fact that 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day - arguably the most beloved entry in the franchise - is headed back to theaters this year, newly converted to 3D. Deadline reports that T2's previously announced 3D re-release has now received a theatrical release date of August 25, 2017.
This spot during the annual summer blockbuster season is quite appropriate for T2, which was itself one of the biggest summer blockbusters released during the 1990s. Made on a budget of just over $100 million, T2 would ultimately rake in nearly $520 million worldwide, and become an absolute merchandising juggernaut. To this day, many consider T2 to be one of the greatest sci-fi/action films of all-time, with groundbreaking CGI special effects that still mostly hold up nearly three decades later.
With Cameron's new Terminator effort still reportedly a few years away from coming together, putting Judgment Day back in theaters could serve to remind moviegoers of just awesome a Cameron-led Terminator film can really be. For the sake of the franchise's twice-burned fans, here's hoping he hasn't lost the magic touch he seemed to have back in 1991.
Terminator 2 3D hits theaters on August 25, 2017.