‘Terminator Salvation’ Midnight Opening Pulls In A Reported $3 Million

“Terminator Salvation” has been one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer season, and also one of the most heavily discussed and marketed. Every poster, casting bite and image made the Internet rounds, and McG’s directorial ability has been hotly debated since he joined the project in 2007. After Comic-Con and endless other roadshows selling the high points of the movie, “Terminator” fans felt confident that they were in for an awesome summer blockbuster .

Opening night told a slightly different story. “Salvation” officially opened to thousands of Wednesday midnight screenings and only brought in $3 million. It isn’t a bad number, and it could easily be explained by a lot of moviegoers who didn’t know about its Wednesday night screenings, or who couldn’t attend due to pre-holiday schedules, but it’s not the record breaker Warner Bros was hoping for. It falls a million or so shy of the $4 million “Star Trek” did on its midnight showings two weeks ago. According to Box Office Mojo, “Star Trek” also did roughly $3.1 million on Wednesday, a day prior to the midnight showings of “Salvation.”

After a full day in theaters, “Terminator: Salvation” has done a solid $13.3 million, a number expected to climb over the Memorial Day weekend. Warner Bros is optimistic despite the slow start that “Salvation” will defeat the current analyst favorite, Fox’s family-friendly “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” and its predicted $70 million. “Salvation” is far from the sure thing that WB would like to think that it is; reviews have been decidedly mixed, though several well-respected geek sites are actually urging fans to skip the film.

“Terminator Salvation” shouldn’t have a difficult time topping previous opening weekend figures for the franchise, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the series. “The Terminator” (1984) and “Terminator 2: Judgment” (1991), the most-loved entries, pulled in $4 million and $32 million on their respective opening weekends. “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” the black sheep of the series to many fans, still did rather well with a $44 million opening weekend and $433 million in worldwide ticket sales by the end of its run.

Between poor word of mouth and a massive, family-friendly film opening against it, “Terminator: Salvation” may fall short of rallying mankind against… well… Ben Stiller. Maybe Skynet isn’t all that after all.

MTV readers, did you see “Terminator: Salvation”? Are you planning to see it this weekend? If not, which Memorial Day weekend movie will you be spending your money on?