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?