You have to admire director McG’s optimism. This weekend during a BD-Live chat for his film Terminator: Salvation, he confidently announced that he was planning on making another two Terminator films.
Those of us living in reality, however, can see several possible road blocks to this actually happening. The biggest, of course, is that Halcyon Group, the owners of the Terminator franchise rights are in the midst of being auctioned off in the wake of the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in August. However, a statement released by the company late last week says that the company is currently mulling over several offers and hope to announce a buyer by the end of January-
When Halcyon announced the bidding process for the Terminator franchise last month, we indicated that in addition to an outright sale of the property, we would also consider other strategic options, including a recapitalization ofthe company. Over the past few weeks Halcyon and its professionals have engaged in in-depth discussions and negotiations with numerous serious potential buyers, including several major movie studios. In addition, a number of attractive refinancing alternatives have also been presented. In order to maximize the value of a transaction for all of the company’s creditors and stakeholders, we are fully analyzing all these options. As a result, we will not be committing to a ‘stalking horse’ bid at this time. Nonetheless, given the significant positive interest in the Terminator franchise, we expect to be in a position to announce a successful sale or recapitalization no later than February 1, 2010.
For the uninitiated, a “stalking bid” is a term used for one firm offer that other potential buyers bid against. It sounds to me like the offers that Halcyon has received are not up to what they were expecting. I have a feeling that it might take them a little while longer than February 1 for them to find themselves a deal to their liking. And even when they do, there’s no guarantee that that buyer would want McG back to direct a new Terminator film.
And as to why those offers might not be as high as Halcyon was hoping for might lie within McG’s Terminator: Salvation. The film reportedly cost in the neighborhood of $200 million and that’s before advertising costs are factored in. True, the film pulled in $371 million at the box office, but only $125 million of that was from US ticket buyers. Foreign distributors will have taken their cut of the $246 million the film earned overseas. Was it the poor reviews (32% on Rotten Tomatoes) that kept people away? Will they catch up with the film now that it has hit home video? That’s hard to say, as the DVD and Blu-Ray release was only last week, so we won’t have any concrete sales numbers for a few weeks.
Pretty much right from the beginning, McG has stated that he hoped that Terminator: Salvation would be the first of a new trilogy that would revitalize the franchise. Right now, it looks like he probably won’t get that chance.