WB’s ‘Terminator’ to open May 2009

McG film stars Christian Bale, Sam Worthington

Warner Bros. will open McG’s Christian Bale starrer “Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins” on May 22, 2009, the start of Memorial Day weekend.

That puts two tentpoles on the same date, even though the release calendar for summer 2009 is still relatively open.

Twentieth Century Fox had already staked out May 22 for the bow of the Ben Stiller sequel “Night at the Museum II: Escape From the Smithsonian.” First film grossed $250.9 million domestically.

Warner will distribute the pic in North America through a deal with Halcyon Co., which owns all franchise rights to the “Terminator” series.

The last film in the franchise, “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” bowed in 2003 and grossed $150.4 million domestically.

“T4” begins lensing in New Mexico for two months on May 5. The state has become a favorite locale for producers because of its production tax incentives.

Storyline is being kept under tight wraps, but plot is part of a planned three-picture arc that begins after Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust. A group of survivors led by John Connor (Bale) struggles to stop the machines. Sam Worthington (“Avatar”) is in talks to star as well.