In less than a month, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ went from a poor #1 debut of $29M to not being anywhere in the Top Ten at the domestic box office. What went wrong? There are plenty of reasons why audiences didn’t want to turn out. For starters, this was the sixth film in a franchise that started back in 1984. And in all those years and all those movies, this franchise keeps retelling the same basic story over and over rather than trying to find new stories to tell in this reality.
Or as the film’s director Tim Miller admitted to The Hollywood Reporter:
“I’m sure we could write a book on why it didn’t work. I’m still not sure and I’m processing, but I’m very proud of the movie. The things they seemed to hate the most about the movie, were things I can’t control. I can’t control you didn’t like Genysis or you felt betrayed by Terminator 4. I can’t help that,”
James Cameron, who directed the first two ‘Terminator’ movies and produced ‘Dark Fate’, admitted that there was conflict between himself and Miller through production. In October, he divulged to Cinema Blend:
“The blood is still being scrubbed off the walls from those creative battles. This is a film that was forged in fire. So yeah, but that’s the creative process, right? I mean, my work with Robert [Rodriguez] on ‘Alita’ was very different. Robert loved the script, loved everything, said, ‘I just want to make this movie. I want to make the movie the way you see it.’ I was like, ‘No, you got to make it your movie.’ I had the reverse experience with Tim, which is Tim wanted to make it his movie. And I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I kind of know a little about this world.’ So I had the matter and the anti-matter version of that producorial experience.”
Though Miller stresses there is no bad blood, stating that Cameron asked him out for a beer the next time they were both in LA, he says he will most likely never work with him again.
“I can say no, but it has nothing to do with whatever trauma I have from the experience. It’s more that I just don’t want to be in a situation again where I don’t have the control to do what I think is right.”
‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ is still (barely) playing in theaters, if you still want to check it out.