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The summer of 2015 brought numerous long-dormant franchises back to center stage. From Mad Max: Fury Road, to Jurassic World, nostalgia seemed to be the driving force behind box office success. However, if one film failed to recapture its franchise’s former glory, it would have to be Terminator Genysis. Rumors have persisted for some time that the lackluster performance of the fifth Terminator film had resulted in Skydance putting the time-travel franchise on "hold." Now it seems that the studio has an understanding of the film's shortcomings.
Producer Dana Goldberg recently attended The Wrap’s 6th Annual Media Leadership Conference and addressed the future of the franchise, stating:
(We’re using) data and research to do a worldwide study and really talk to audiences about what they loved, and what maybe didn’t work for them, so that the next [step] we take with the franchise is the right one.
So it looks as though Skydance has not given up on the Terminator franchise just yet -- but they also clearly see that a course correction is needed. As Goldberg acknowledges: while Genisys most certainly stumbled at times, the film performed admirably global – achieving 80% of its $440 million gross at the foreign box office. This effectively proves that a market may still exist for the T-800 and the Connor family. Now it’s just a matter of opening up a dialogue with fans to figure out what aspects of the film succeeded, so they can weed out the weaker elements -- of which there were many. These alterations could range from ditching long time elements of the franchise -- such as John Connor -- or simply steering away from the sort of cheap humor that plagued Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, as well as Genisys.
That being said, just because the Terminator franchise isn’t dead yet does not mean audiences will get more of the same anytime soon. Skydance plans to use the fan research they conduct to retool and revamp the franchise into something better – which could mean ditching the big screen altogether. At this stage, finding a permanent home on TV seems to be the likeliest scenario, as many fans would likely agree that the short-lived series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles arguably represents the last peak for the franchise as a whole. By scaling down to the world of serialized television, the Terminator franchise has the potential to achieve its former glory once more.
So let this be a message to the few remaining fans of the Terminator universe: if you want to see more of this series, the power lies within your hands to make that possible. The original plan was for Genisys to begin a new trilogy that would continue within a few short years, but as of now no new installments or projects have been officially announced. We will bring you more as Skydance reveals their plan for the future.