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In the nine weekends since its premiere, Terminator Genisys has only managed to bring in $89.4 million in box office revenue through domestic distribution. With a budget of $155 million, and international markets seeming to be excited about the film, it looked like James Cameron was going to find the rights to the franchise gift wrapped on his doorstep in a couple of years. Then, a miracle happened. The film opened in China, and took the fourth biggest opening frame for an American release. Apparently, the good news didn’t stop there, as the film’s fortunes are growing ever brighter in just 8 days of Chinese release.
How much brighter? Well, let’s just put it this way: The Hollywood Reporter reported that in a little over a week, Terminator Genisys went on to make $82.8 million. In 8 days, the Arnold Schwarzenegger led picture has almost made the entire domestic total that was accrued over the same number of weeks. Should this rapid expansion continue, the film will hit the $100 million mark soon – which will further bolster the film’s currently reported foreign box office total of an estimated $376 million – which takes into account all other foreign market totals reported by Box Office Mojo. While this does look like wonderful news for Paramount’s iteration of the Terminator franchise, there’s another underlying cause to the film’s success: the annual Chinese “blackout” period.
Every year, the Chinese film market enacts a sort of blackout that delays the release of foreign tentpoles, such as Terminator Genisys. This is done so that domestic films have more of a chance to perform at local box offices, before being drown out by the glut of Hollywood mega-hits that those markets look forward to. So while the Chinese reaction to Terminator Genisys speaks to the power of the brand, as well as its star Arnold Schwarzenegger, in that territory – it was given a boost by this regulatory quirk in the system.
Just as Terminator Genisys pulled a cybernetic rabbit from its leather jacket, three more Hollywood releases are looking to make a similar late game victory. As we reported yesterday, Minions is being released on September 13th in China. However, before the adorable yellow beings hit their screens, Chinese citizens will be able to see Ethan Hunt saving the world on September 8th when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation finally opens. Considering how China was the highest performing territory for Tom Cruise’s last film, the underrated/underseen Edge Of Tomorrow, it’s all but assured that this mission will be an extreme success. Even Pixels, which has performed on a more mediocre keel and was co-financed by China Film Group, may find itself coming home with a little more pep in its step after breaking out abroad.
In case you haven’t seen it yourself, Terminator Genisys could still be playing in a theater near you, but if you missed it you can catch it on Blu Ray, DVD, and Digital HD at some point around its November 10th home video release date.