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Box Office: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Disappoints Overseas With $72 Million, ‘Joker’ Nears $1 Billion

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in Skydance Productions
Kerry Brown

Paramount, Skydance and Disney’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” failed to ignite much traction overseas, launching with a soft $72.9 million from 48 international territories.

The sixth “Terminator” installment debuted with a dismal $29 million in North America, bringing worldwide ticket sales to $123 million. That’s a disappointing result considering the movie cost $185 million before considering global marketing and distribution fees. Disney is releasing the movie in all foreign territories aside from China, where Tencent Pictures is handling distribution. Paramount is distributing the movie in North America. All three companies co-financed the film, meaning any potential losses will be broken up among the different players.

“Terminator: Dark Fate” had the strongest start in China with a tepid $28 million, followed by Korea with $9.8 million and the United Kingdom with $6.9 million. Imax screens accounted for $9 million of global ticket sales, $2.9 million of which came from China.

“Dark Fate” reunites series creator James Cameron with stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first “Terminator” movie since 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” They were joined by new cast members Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes and Gabriel Luna. In this installment, Sarah Connor (Hamilton) must protect a young girl from a deadly new Terminator from the future. Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) directed from a screenplay by David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight,” “Blade”), Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray.

Warner Bros.’ “Joker” continues to be a major force overseas, declining just 24% and earning $37 million from 79 markets. Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the notorious Batman villain has made $634.4 million at the international box office, boosting its global bounty to a mighty $934 million. Given its strong hold, crossing the $1 billion milestone looks likely.

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Another Warner Bros.’ thriller, “Doctor Sleep,” kicked off with $5.6 million from nine foreign territories. The sequel to Stephen King’s “The Shining,” “Doctor Sleep” had the biggest opening in the United Kingdom with $1.9 million. Other top markets include Italy with $1.3 million, France with $986,000 and Spain with $748,000.

Among holdovers, Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” brought in $40 million this weekend, taking its international bounty to $298.9 million. After three weeks in theaters, the “Maleficent” sequel has generated $383.2 million. With a hefty $185 million price tag, Disney is banking on overseas audiences to help “Maleficent” turn a profit. Though the first film earned a massive $500 million abroad, “Maleficent 2” has already surpassed the lifetime tally of the original in 11 markets, including China ($46.9 million), Russia ($28.2 million) and France ($15.3 million).

Elsewhere, “The Addams Family” pocketed another $25.9 million for an international tally of $44 million. The animated movie debuted this weekend in Russia with $6.1 million, Brazil with $1.1 million, Peru with $400,000, Hong Kong with $400,000 and the Philippines with $400,000.