Why the ‘Terminator’ Movie Sequel Has Been Canceled

source: Paramount

Source: Paramount

Terminator won’t be back this time … at least, for a good long while. Paramount has just confirmed that it’s removed the next planned Terminator sequel (known as Terminator 2) from its schedule of upcoming releases.

The studio had previously set the expected sequel to hit theaters in a prime summer release date of May 19, 2017. Now, it’s yanking it from the schedule altogether, swapping in the upcoming R-rated Baywatch movie (starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron) in its place.

While the move doesn’t bode well for the once-beloved action hit franchise, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to fans. Last year’s Terminator: Genisys was a major disappointment both critically and commercial, failing to live up to either the studio’s or audience’s expectations. In addition to earning a paltry 25% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, the film ended up grossing roughly $440 million worldwide, only $89 million of which was earned domestically. Though that’s far from a complete box office bomb, it’s also not nearly successful enough to guarantee Terminator‘s future — especially when considering that Genisys cost $155 million to make and an estimated $50 to $100 million more for mar­keting.

Following its lackluster performance at the box office, the Terminator universe was reportedly put “on hold indefinitely.” But it seems Paramount’s hesitations weren’t eased by the movie’s decent international showing, and it decided to place its attention elsewhere.

So where exactly does this leave the Terminator franchise? Barring any sudden change of heart from the studio, moviegoers likely won’t see any new developments in the series until a few years down the line. Per Deadline, series creator James Cameron is set to re-acquire the rights to the franchise in 2019, as a result of a copyright reversion provision in his initial sale contract from three decades ago.

With the rights back in his hands, Cameron will have the chance to revitalize the property and complete its story arc the way he once envisioned. Whether he’ll actually take the opportunity to do so remains to be seen. The director currently has his hands full conceptualizing the Avatar universe, the first sequel of which is currently slated for release in 2017 and the next two of which are expected to follow sometime shortly after.

Fans will have to stay tuned to see whether Cameron decides to take on the franchise once again and give it a more successful revival. In the meantime, the two planned Terminator movies will likely stay shelved for the time being.

As for their replacement, Paramount clearly has high hopes for the developing Baywatch reboot, which will star Johnson and Efron alongside Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach. The studio is obviously expecting the movie to do well, allotting it in a prime release date at the start of the summer blockbuster season. At this point, Baywatch is the only wide release scheduled for that particular weekend.

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