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‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Heading for Lackluster $27 Million Launch

Paramount’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” is falling short of expectations with a projected $27 million opening weekend at 4,086 North American locations.

Though the sixth installment of the sci-fi franchise is dominating domestic moviegoing, the results are a disappointment, given the hefty $185 million cost. “Terminator: Dark Fate” took in $10.6 million on its opening day, including $2.4 million from previews on Halloween night.

Pre-release forecasts for “Dark Fate” had been in the $40 million range. The film had generated buzz due to it being the first franchise entry since 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” with series creator James Cameron and stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning.

“Dark Fate” centers on Hamilton’s resistance leader Sarah Connor protecting a young girl from a deadly new killer cyborg from the future. Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) directed “Dark Fate” from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray. New cast members include Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes and Gabriel Luna.

Moviegoers gave the  action-thriller a respectable B+ Cinemascore. Reviews were mostly positive, leading to a 69% mark on Rotten Tomatoes. Production companies are Paramount Pictures, Cameron’s Lightstorm, David Ellison’s Skydance Media, 20th Century Fox and China’s Tencent Pictures. Disney’s Fox is handling international distribution outside China.

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The opening of Focus Features’ biopic “Harriet” scored the second-best mark Friday with $3.9 million, edging out Warner Bros. smash hit “Joker.” Updated projections place “Joker” with about $13.5 million for the weekend, followed by Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” at $13 million and “Harriet” at $10 million in fourth place. Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” will wind up the weekend with about $299 million in domestic grosses after 24 days.

“Harriet,” starring Cynthia Erivo and playing at 2,059 locations, is coming in at the high end of forecasts and received an A+ Cinemascore. But Warner Bros.’ crime drama “Motherless Brooklyn” and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures’ animated adventure “Arctic Dogs” have been showing little traction and are heading for openings of $3 million and $2.5 million, respectively. All three new entries had been forecast to debut around $10 million each.

MGM-United Artists’ fourth frame of “The Addams Family” should finish fifth with about $8.8 million at 3,607 venues. Its 24-day total will reach about $85 million by the end of the weekend.

Sony’s third weekend of its dark comedy sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” is heading for a sixth-place finish with around $7.2 million at 3,337 sites, lifting its 17-day total to $59 million. STX’s second session of “Countdown” will follow with about $5.3 million at 2,675 locations, topping Sony’s second weekend of “Black and Blue” with $3.7 million at 2,062 screens.

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