Who Wants to Buy the TERMINATOR Franchise?

     November 2, 2009


After seeing “Terminator Salvation” and its disappointing gross of $125 million (according to Box Office Mojo, it cost $200 million to make), I made a prediction that the series would see a re-boot before it saw another sequel.  Since “Terminator” is one of the few major franchises not owned by one of the big studios, the rights will be auctioned off this week.  Its sale price will signal not only the worth of “Terminator” but the value of intellectual property in Hollywood.  Hit the jump to see if its worth more than just scrap metal.

christian_bale_stars_as_john_connor_and_sam_worthington_stars_as_marcus_wright__terminator_salvation.jpgWhile the Financial Times highlights the aspect of the intellectual property, I think that’s going to be just fine.  Intellectual property is selling fine and will continue to do so because every studio wants a pre-sold film so they take from books, comics, TV, video games, etc.  The only difference with the “Terminator” is that it’s always been a film franchise so I think this auction is more about the value of the series.

FT says that various studios are rumored to be interested including Sony, Summit, and Media Rights Capital.  Halcyon will auction off the rights after purchasing them back in 2007.  However, the sale does not include the rights to “The Terminator” and “T2: Judgment Day”.

Presumably, the buyer won’t just purchase the rights and then sit on them but it also signals that we’re probably in for a fresh start.  The series is broken and it needs fixing.  To buy these rights and then make a film that brings in less at the box office than the cost is unacceptable.  It’s unlikely that the new studio would want to continue with the “Terminator” series in its current direction and reboots are the best way to bring back the jaded fans.  “Terminator Salvation” was supposed to be a reboot but for all of McG’s easy shots at “T3: Rise of the Machine” his movie came out of that timeline and it tried so hard to please fans that it played the story safe every step of the way.

But before we can worry about where the franchise goes next, someone has to buy it.  And if you’re looking for a good barometer of what the franchise is worth, note that “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” sold for $60 million a couple weeks ago.


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