Why 'Terminator Genisys' and 'Magic Mike XXL' underperformed at the box office

Neither 'Terminator' nor 'Mike' could take down 'Jurassic World' and 'Inside Out' at the box office. Here's why the numbers ended up where they did.

Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures/AP
'Terminator Genisys' was the newest entry in the 'Terminator' action movie franchise.

“Jurassic World” and “Inside Out,” two films that had opened in June, triumphed at the box office over the Fourth of July, while the two major new films in release, “Terminator Genisys” and “Magic Mike XXL,” couldn’t beat the dinosaur and Pixar movies. 

“Jurassic” won the weekend with a gross of $30.9 million. What was right behind it? Not “Terminator” and or “Mike” – the Pixar movie “Inside Out,” which opened on June 19, the week after “Jurassic,” came in second with a gross of $30.1 million. “Terminator” came in at number three, behind both of those movies with a gross of $28.7 million, while “Mike” was fourth with $12 million. 

By comparison, “Jurassic,” which has become a major box office hit, opened with more than $208 million in its first weekend. 

The disappointing performance of the two new movies somewhat echoes last year’s box office, in which the new movies, the Melissa McCarthy comedy “Tammy” and the animated film “Earth to Echo,” did okay but not great. This year is an improvement, though – last year’s holiday weekend was the worst at the domestic box office in decades when industry watchers adjusted for inflation. 

So what accounts for the low performance of the two new films "Terminator" and "Mike"? “Terminator” franchise fans may have felt burned by the last installment, 2009’s “Terminator Salvation,” which starred Christian Bale and received mostly negative reviews. If fans felt cautious and decided to wait for reviews of “Genisys,” they didn’t find new hope there – “Genisys” has received even worse reviews than “Salvation.” 

As for “Mike,” the answer to its disappointing box office could be simply that its audience was elsewhere for the rest of the weekend after its Wednesday opening. The first “Magic Mike” opened on June 29, a run-of-the-mill summer weekend. Those wanting to make a night of it and see “Magic Mike XXL” most likely had other events like fireworks or barbecues over the weekend and moviegoers may have decided to wait until a future weekend to go check out the film.

In addition, if parents wanted to get kids out of the house and into some air-conditioning at a movie theater, both “Jurassic” and “Inside Out” may have been viewed as more family-friendly than “Terminator” or certainly “Mike.” 

Perhaps the performance of “Terminator” and “Mike” will pick up over coming weekends, but for now, dinosaurs and Pixar still rule the box office.

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