‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Debuts Atop Disc Sales Charts

Four newcomers debuted in the top 20 of the national home video sales charts the week ended Feb. 1, led by Paramount’s Terminator: Dark Fate.

The sixth film in the “Terminator” movie franchise debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Dark Fate, a reboot billed as a direct sequel to 1991’s Terminator 2, ignoring the third through fifth films, earned $62 million at the domestic box office.

The previous week’s top seller, Sony Pictures’ Zombieland: Double Tap, dropped to No. 2 on both charts.

Warner’s Joker held steady at No. 3 on both charts in its fourth week. The gritty comic book adaptation is up for 11 Oscars at the Feb. 9 Academy Awards ceremony.

Dropping to No. 4 on both charts was Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in its third week.

No. 5 on the overall sales chart was MGM’s animated The Addams Family, distributed by Universal Pictures. It was No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart.

Bowing as the No. 5 Blu-ray, and No. 7 overall, was Universal’s Parasite, the acclaimed South Korean film up for several Oscars.

The third newcomer in the top 10 was Universal’s Harriet at No. 6 overall and No. 7 on the Blu-ray chart. The biopic of Harriet Tubman earned $43 million at the domestic box office, and star Cynthia Erivo is up for a Best Actress Oscar for the title role.

The other newcomer in the top 20 is Warner’s Motherless Brooklyn, at No. 12 overall and No. 13 on the Blu-ray chart.

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 65% of Terminator: Dark Fate first-week sales, compared with 45% for Harriet, 88% for Parasite and 50% for Motherless Brooklyn. The 4K Ultra HD edition comprised 18% of the overall unit tally for Dark Fate, the week’s only new release to receive a UHD disc release.

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Terminator: Dark Fate also landed at No. 1 on the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Feb. 2, pushing Zombieland: Double Tap to No. 2.

Paramount’s Gemini Man dropped to No. 3, while Joker was No. 4 and Harriet debuted at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 2-1-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 2-2-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-1-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-1-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-1-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 2-3-20

Terminator: Dark Fate


Street Date 1/28/20;
Sci-Fi Action;
Box Office $ 62.25 million;
$29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $44.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for violence throughout, language and brief nudity.
Stars Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta.

The “Terminator” films at this point are not so much as a franchise as they are a premise that keeps rebooting itself.

The 1984 original and its 1991 sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, otherwise known as the ones directed and co-written by James Cameron, are considered classics in the sci-fi and action genres, and exist well enough on their own as a self-contained duology ruminating about the nature of fate and the increasingly complicated role machines play in our lives.

Without Cameron guiding the franchise, subsequent sequels fell back on the same basic premise of robots from the future hunting a younger version of someone whose destiny is to lead the resistance against the artificial intelligence Skynet and its machines taking over the world. The only wrinkle was in crafting the action scenes and finding new variations of the Terminators hunting the main heroes — usually Sarah Connor and her son, the future resistance leader John — and finding a way to fit the original Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, into the plot.

Needless to say, with each installment, fans became less enthused about revisiting the war against Skynet.

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While 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was the most similar to its predecessors in terms of setting, at least 2009’s Terminator: Salvation pushed the mythology forward by setting the story after the nuclear armageddon of judgment day. But after negative audience feedback for that installment, producers tried a reboot in 2015 with Terminator Genisys, which again tried to put a new spin on the core premise, without much luck (though it did get a thumbs up from Cameron).

Counting the “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” TV series, Terminator: Dark Fate marks the fourth attempt at a direct sequel to Terminator 2 (with Salvation fitting in more or less as a direct sequel to Terminator 3). Key to the latest installment is the return of Cameron to an active role in the franchise as a producer and co-writer, while directing duties were handled by Tim Miller, who established his action bonafides with 2016’s Deadpool. And Linda Hamilton, the original Sarah Connor from the first two films, would return as well.

But after all the hoopla, the end result just seems like another pointless reboot, plugging in a new set of characters into the roles of the original film and adding some overt political subtext.

The film posits that, with the foundation for Skynet eliminated in Terminator 2, that a new AI will eventually cause judgment day and wage war against humanity. So a new Terminator (Gabriel Luna) is sent to kill the young version of the new resistance leader, Dani (Natalia Reyes), while the future resistance sends a protector for Dani, named Grace (Mackenzie Davis).

Meanwhile, remnants from the averted Skynet future, such as an older Sarah Connor (Hamilton) are still around too, and find a way to join the effort to protect Dani.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Luna’s new Rev-9 model is an interesting design, able to separate his liquid skin into a second killing machine for maximum carnage. The fights and action sequences are pretty good. But the main curiosity factor of the film is just seeing how the writers decided to redefine the franchise’s mythology.

Dark Fate has plenty of interesting ideas about the franchise’s mythology, but so did all of the other sequels that it overwrote. By now there are enough alternate versions of what happens next that fans can take or leave them as they please (with most probably preferring the TV show’s take on it).

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In another sign of the times, a sizeable portion of the film’s bonus materials are available as digital exclusives, meaning disc collectors will have to access them through the redemption code included with the Blu-ray. (Buyers of the standalone DVD will get nothing beyond the film itself in paltry standard-def.)

The Blu-ray still contains a hefty amount of extras, particularly a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes that run more than 50 minutes in total.

The 20-minute “A Legend Reforged” deals with creating the new story, while the 33-minute “World Builders” focuses on the production of the film. While these are pretty standard for these kinds of videos, they should satisfy fans of the film looking for more production details.

The Blu-ray also includes nine-minutes of deleted scenes, some of which are alternate set-ups of what’s in the film and others that add a few insights into what happens to the characters.

Two more videos focus on specific sequences: an eight-and-a-half-minute look at the making of the climactic dam fight, and a two-and-a-half-minute visual effects breakdown of creating one of the film’s fictional vehicles.

The digital version includes a full-length commentary with director Miller and editor Julian Clarke, which hints at some of the publicized story disagreements Miller had with Cameron and other members of the production. Millers introduction to and commentary on the deleted scenes also is a digital exclusive.

Rounding out the extras on the digital side are a five-minute featurette about creating a new Terminator villain, a two-and-a-half-minute vignette comparing the various robotic characters of the franchise, and animated pre-visualizations of three of the film’s action sequences.


Paramount Sets Home Release Dates for ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’

Paramount Home Entertainment in January 2020 will release Terminator: Dark Fate for home viewing.

The sixth film in the “Terminator” franchise will be available through digital retailers on Jan. 14. Two weeks later, on Jan. 28, the film will become available on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD, and digital releases come with over an hour of bonus content, including deleted and extended scenes, in-depth featurettes taking fans through the process of reimagining the world after Judgment Day, a look at the climactic final showdown, and a visual effects breakdown.

In addition, the digital release will include access to two more featurettes and previsualization sequences showing how the action was planned out prior to filming.  Select digital platforms also will offer film commentary by director Tim Miller and editor Julian Clarke, as well as an introduction and commentary on the deleted scenes

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The 4K Ultra HD disc and 4K Ultra HD digital releases feature Dolby Vision.  The film also boasts a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home to place audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.  In addition, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo packs include access to a digital copy of the film.

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Terminator: Dark Fate takes place decades after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevented Judgment Day. A lethal new Terminator is sent to eliminate the future leader of the resistance. In a fight to save mankind, battle-hardened Sarah teams up with an unexpected ally (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and an enhanced super soldier to stop the deadliest Terminator yet.

‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ 4K Collector’s Set Due July 17

The long-delayed limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray collector’s edition of director James Cameron’s sci-fi action classic Terminator 2: Judgment Day will be released July 17 from Lionsgate.

The set includes the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (with Blu-ray and digital copy) of the film with a replica of a Terminator EndoArm. Just 6,000 of the boxed sets ($174.99 each) will be released in the United States, featuring a life-sized replica of the T-800 arm mounted on a stand with a numbered sticker with James Cameron’s signature.

A standalone version of the 4K combo pack was released in December.

Blu-ray and Digital HD special features include the 55-minute documentary “T2: Reprogramming the Terminator,” featuring commentary from the cast and crew (including Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong); two feature commentaries, including 23 members of the cast and crew; “The Making of T2” 30-minute featurette; seamless branching to view three different versions of the movie; two deleted scenes with audio commentary; and trailers.