Box Office: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Takes Top Spot, But The Future Is Grim

1. Terminator: Dark Fate (review)- $29M
The future is bleak for Terminator: Dark Fate, as the sixth movie in the franchise won the weekend with $29M domestic, $101M overall if you include international, but is performing way below expectations. The $186M feature returned James Cameron to the fold as a producer, with Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger leading a new cast of freedom fighters, but audiences just didn’t seem to care. At what point do they get the hint? We’ve seen Terminator revived time and time again, each with a new hook, and the results are always mediocre. Perhaps Dark Fate should be seen as a proper jumping off point, with loose ends tied up, the future saved, and that’s it. Put this thing to bed for a decade and start fresh?
2. Joker– $13.9M/$299.6M
Another strong week for Joker, which nears the $300M mark domestically, and edges closer to $1B worldwide. Remember when we were questioning whether this movie was even a good idea?  At $934M globally, Warner Bros. is facing the prospect that Joker could out-perform The Batman at the box office. Just putting that out there.
3. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil– $12.1/$84.3M
4. Harriet (review)- $12M
I had serious misgivings that audiences would turn out for a Harriet Tubman biopic, but I’m happy to see strong support for Harriet. The Kasi Lemmons-directed drama, which features Cynthia Erivo as the famed abolitionist, is unusual for its superhero-esque origin story, but that may also be what attracted people who didn’t want another dry, oppressive walk through history.
5. The Addams Family– $8.4M/$85.2M
6. Zombieland 2: Double Tap– $7.3M/$59.3M
7. Countdown– $5.8M/$17.7M
8. Black and Blue– $4M/$15.4M
9. Motherless Brooklyn (review)- $3.6M
I don’t know what the audience was ever going to be for Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn, but it’s disappointing to see it be so small. The adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s novel, reimagined as a 1950s noir with Norton as writer, director, and star, opened with just $3.6M. This despite a solidly star-powered cast that includes Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.  I feel like the market can only support one adult-skewing drama at a time and Harriet had the market cornered. It’s sad things are that way now, but there you have it.
10. Arctic Dogs– $3.1M
They didn’t even bother to screen the animated Arctic Dogs for us here in DC, which is never a good sign. The $3.1M debut isn’t a good sign, either, for the $50M (Say wha now?) film which features the voice of Jeremy Renner as an arctic fox with dreams of leaving his mailroom job and becoming a top husky mail courier. I guess technically this is the second dud of the week for Alec Baldwin, who voices an introverted polar bear.