Reboot revelation: Why Jurassic Park worked, and Terminator didn't

07/04/15 by Rennie Detore

So the summer movie season is off and running and has been for the last month, and the audiences have spoken as it relates to the reboot of two noteworthy franchises that started in the early 1990s and are attempting a comeback: Jurassic Park and Terminator.
And what movie goers have to say is good for one and not so reassuring for the other.
Jurassic Park is tearing up the box office with new leading man Chris Pratt, and the movie still is churning along at an epic pace, knocking off one movie after another for total gross numbers and shows very little signs of waning even with other movies, such as Terminator, coming out as new in subsequent weeks.

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On the flip side, Terminator didn't necessarily tank, but fell short of its opening weekend numbers and shows little signs of having much life in the United States. Rather, Terminator, the fifth installment of the movie, seems destined to be on DVD quickly and make most of its $150 something million budget overseas, where once popular genres (like rock music for example) go to truly earn the kind of money they need to in order to be profitable.
Both movies scored rave reviews and wonderful box office receipts in their so called "heydays", so rebooting them in 2015 seemed somewhere between risky and rewarding.
So why exactly has Jurassic World done wonders for that franchise, but Terminator isn't making the kind of headway or news that it once did back in the early 90s?
To answer that question is to look at two key factors: the stars and the story.
Jurassic World features Pratt, who became lovable, desirable and did wonders for his leading man status in "Guardians of the Galaxy." He helped push that movie from laughable to respectability because he channeled his inner Harrison Ford (think Hans Solo and his condescending, swashbuckling mantra) and didn't seem out of place on the big screen.
Keep in mind the last Jurassic Park movie was in 2001, meaning that 14 year absence from the big screen had audiences potentially clamoring for more from the franchise.
Terminator had two wildly original and successful movies, but the third and fourth versions of the franchises, released in 2003 and 2009 respectively, didn't do much to continue the unique storytelling paradox that is Terminator movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his star power have waned tremendously since the mid 1990s, and his inclusion in this movie makes sense after "Salvation" in 2009 didn't have him as part of the show. Schwarzenegger reprising the role seems more like a rerun than a reboot. "Salvation" hurt the Terminator legacy quite a bit, even though all the pieces were in place to score big (such as Christian Bale fresh off his Batman success), but the direction and storytelling missed awfully.
Keep in mind that "Salvation" was only six years ago, hardly enough time for fans to want more from the cyborgs.

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