Paramount/Skydance Media/Fox’s Terminator: Dark Fate drew $2.35M from 7 p.m. shows on Halloween night. Last night we were hearing early estimates between $1.5M-$1.7M, so this definitely is an improvement on that.
That’s on par with the Tuesday night previews of its previous chapter, Terminator: Genisys which made $2.3M back on June 30, 2015. In fact it is pretty good for a Halloween night, which typically attracts audiences to genre and family fare. Genisys had a five-day opening, making $27M over its three-day weekend and $42.4M over five days. Note this is the second time in the Terminator franchise since the first pic in 1984 that one of its pics have played the fall corridor and also opened on a pure 3-day weekend. Typically Terminator movies play the July 4th spread, opening mid-week and racking up a five-seven day run. Terminator Salvation was the only movie to play the Memorial Day weekend period in 2009.
Dark Fate pulled in three stars in early Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak with a 51% definite recommend. Demo breakdowns were Males 25+ (41%), Females 25+ (30%), Males 25- (17%), Females 25- (11%) with 43% Caucasian, 29% Hispanic, 11% African American, and 10% Asian. There was a big play to expand the diversity in the Terminator series with a mostly all femme cast in Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, and Natalia Reyes, plus Hispanic leads Reyes, Diego Boneta and Gabriel Luna. Half of the pic takes place in Mexico City.
Dark Fate‘s preview night is in the vicinity of such films as John Wick: Chapter Two ($2.2M, $30.4M opening), Pacific Rim Uprising ($2.35M, $28.1M opening), The Predator ($2.5M, $24.6M opening) and Zombieland: Double Tap ($2.85M, $26.8M opening).
Joker led all movies in regular release last night with $1.88M, +15% from Wednesday for a fourth-week cume of $285.7M. Joker‘s fifth weekend is projected around $12.5M, -35%, and it will get close to the three-century mark with an expected U.S./Canada total of $298.2M.
Most of the pics in the top 10 on Halloween night, which were mostly genre and family fare, saw gains over Wednesday night including Maleficent: Mistress of Evil ($1.38M, +25%), Zombieland: Double Tap ($1.2M, +25%), The Addams Family ($1.1M, +25%) and Countdown ($1M, +97%). Upscale adult fare also did all right with Downton Abbey ($280K, +7%), The Current War: Director’s Cut ($255K, +11%), and Parasite ($201K, even).
In China — where Terminator: Dark Fate is being handled by Tencent, which is covering 10% of the pic’s production cost — the film ranks second in its first day of release with an estimated $9.7M (that includes previews). IT bowed behind local title Better Days, which made $10.8M in its eighth day, raising its cume to $134M. China with $113.2M repped 32% of Genisys‘ $350.8M overseas the haul, the best foreign B.O. ever for a Terminator movie.
Projections for the reported $185M James Cameron-produced, Tim Miller-directed sixth Terminator movie are leaning out of the $40M range toward the high-$30M range. The film really needs to work overseas, where Disney/Fox has it, with industry projections eyeing $80M-$85M this weekend as it opens in 36 additional territories and China. The Arnold Schwarzenegger-Linda Hamilton reteam fizzled in its initial suite of territories last weekend with $12.6M including France and UK. On Rotten Tomatoes, Dark Fate is 71% fresh, a rating that’s higher than the third pic, 2003’s Terminator: Rise of the Machines (69%); 2009’s Terminator Salvation (33%); and 2015’s Terminator: Genisys, which was the most-loathed sequel in the series by critics with 27%.
Also previewing last night off 7 p.m. shows was Focus Features’ Harriet, which we heard last night did between $300K-$400K. The pic came in stronger with $600K. The Kasi Lemmons-directed pic about Harriet Tubman has a revised projection between $7.5M-$10M. Harriet received 3 1/2 stars on PostTrak with a 50% definite recommend. Females 25+ led the way at 54%, followed by guys over 25 (38%), females under 25 (6%) and males under 25 at 3%. Caucasians repped 54% of the audience, African Americans were 37%, Hispanics 5% and Asian 1%.