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Sci-Fi Entertainment

Terminator Franchise To Be Auctioned Off 256

"For sale: One slightly-used Terminator. Still works, minor attitude problems, get it cheap now!' Several sources are reporting that the Terminator franchise is set to be auctioned off just three weeks after another well known franchise, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was sold for $60 million. The present owner, Halcyon, has filed for chapter 11 after a dispute with a hedge fund that lent Halcyon the money to buy the rights to begin with. The auction will include rights to everything but the first two films.
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Terminator Franchise To Be Auctioned Off

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  • by soupforare ( 542403 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:40PM (#29953798)
    They made more than two?
    • Yes, and I think that the third movie is unfairly maligned. It wasn't as good as the first two, but it was entertaining. (I haven't seen the 4th.)

      I liked the tv show a lot too.

      • Re:First two films? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Virak ( 897071 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @05:00PM (#29954912) Homepage

        The third movie was very fairly maligned. Sure, it might have been halfway decent by itself. But as the sequel to Terminator 2, which was basically perfection in action movie form, merely decent isn't enough. It completely shat all over the "they finally beat Skynet and saved humanity!" thing, the characters weren't as well developed, the story didn't have as much depth, it wasn't nearly as tight (T2 advanced the plot in basically every scene and certainly didn't put any to waste), the Terminator in it wasn't really likable (T1's was an unstoppable killing machine; T2's was an unstoppable killing machine with a heart of gold; T3's was just a dick), the action wasn't as good, and the movie simply had overall a significantly different (and worse) feel from either of the previous ones.

        • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @06:48PM (#29956312) Homepage Journal

          the Terminator in it wasn't really likable (T1's was an unstoppable killing machine; T2's was an unstoppable killing machine with a heart of gold; T3's was just a dick)

          Actually, the one thing T3's didn't have was a dick.

      • The third changed the basic message of the series from "you can change your fate" to "you can't change your fate".

        It's kinda like bringing "Lord of the Rings 4: Turns out Sauron and the Ring are still doing fine" so they can make more money.

        The fourth wasn't bad.

        • by blincoln ( 592401 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @06:14PM (#29955878) Homepage Journal

          The fourth wasn't bad.

          I think you misspelled "the fourth one was the most franchise-destroying, poorly-written, poorly-directed, poorly-acted, absolute failure of a film of all time, and McG should have committed ritual suicide in a futile attempt to atone for his sins." It's an easy mistake to make.

        • Re:First two films? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Sark666 ( 756464 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @06:41PM (#29956234)

          T1 hammers home the point you can't change shit. Arnie comes back and a protector follows ensuring the birth of Cyberdine and of john connor. T2 is the exception implying they can change things but they don't. T3 continues with the original vein of not being able to change anything, it's going to happen. So I'm not sure what gave you that impression with the series...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DavidTC ( 10147 )

          Dude, did you even see the first movie? Why did you decide 'the basic message of series' was that you can change your fate? That held for maybe one movie, although it was really just them being optimistic.

          Trying to make sense of the time travel 'rules' in Terminators movies is stupid.

          The most logical assumption is that you can, in fact, change the future, but you can't change 'fate'. No matter what you do, you always have a Skynet and you always have John Connor fighting it and sending people back.

          This p

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:41PM (#29953816) Journal

    ...or do you have to buy the governator separately?

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:41PM (#29953820) Homepage Journal

    from the same camp which some of us are sure that there are only three Indy films.

    I would prefer it to die, considering that since the second movie, what have we gotten? If it were not for a certain actresses connection to another cult fave who would have put up with the series? That was jump shark city.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ari_j ( 90255 )
      Hey, I personally really enjoyed the Summer Glau Fun Hour. I was sure that, at any minute, they would have a coherent plot, but that wasn't even a small part of my enjoyment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        There was a coherent plot. Or rather, there were several coherent subplots, which wove together in a fascinating and (IMO) very believable way. This took more than five minutes to develop, and didn't involve misplaced Transformers with motorcycles in their legs, so a lot of people might have missed it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ari_j ( 90255 )
          My problem was that the show had too many subplots that were not, in fact, coherent. At the very least, the coherence developed too slowly for the show to remain on the air long enough to piece things together. If too many people miss the point, the show gets canceled. I find Heroes suffering from the same thing - lack of a clear direction for at least the past season and a half. Sarah Conner Chronicles had a lot of untapped potential, which should have been tapped early enough to keep it on the air. T
          • Heroes?

            I'm more amazed Heroes even got a second, or third, season and is still on. Heroes season 1 was by far the worst-written TV series I've ever watched.

    • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:47PM (#29953936) Homepage Journal

      I thought the first series was great. Summer Glau was a nice bonus of course. Second series got a bit slow in the middle, but it was picking up again towards the end.

      I hope whoever buys up the rights continues TTSCC..

      • They kind of deliberately broke everything in the series finale. A third season of TTSCC would have been great, but if they were going to make one, the second season would almost surely not have ended the way it did. It's kind of hard to see how the series would go from the season ending they made -- or rather, it could certainly go on, but it would really be a completely different show.

        • It would be a very different direction for the show sure (IMO it would be what the fourth film should have been), but it still had all the main characters and the unusual premise of John not even being a famous leader in their universe. If they released the plot as a book I'd definitely get it..

    • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @04:12PM (#29954268) Homepage Journal

      I would prefer it to die, considering that since the second movie, what have we gotten? If it were not for a certain actresses connection to another cult fave who would have put up with the series? That was jump shark city.

      James Cameron's canon ended with T2. Although it's not shown in the film, at the end of the T2 novel, Connor and the Resistance succeed in beating Skynet.

      Sarah dies in that novel as well. She was with John almost up until the end of the war; it was only at about the second last engagement with the Machines, where she is killed on a supply run.

      Cameron refused to be involved with T4; he made the comment that he'd said everything he wanted to say by the end of T2.

      • by petrus4 ( 213815 )

        Just to add a further minor, speculative point to this...

        The only real reason why Connor's Resistance is able to beat Skynet in the T1/T2 scenario, is because in that scenario, Skynet remains the sole sentient, or close to sentient AI on the face of the planet.

        In The Matrix, of course, by contrast, there was a scenario where the acorporeal AIs begin to outnumber the humans very rapidly.

        We see a scenario like that beginning to develop in SCC, however, with Cromartie and Weaver. It becomes obvious that some

      • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... minus city> on Monday November 02, 2009 @09:40PM (#29958340) Homepage

        It's not shown at the end of the second film, but it is explained right at the start of the first film if you pay attention.

        It clearly says that the final battle would be fought here...tonight.

        Now, if Skynet had killed Connor retroactively, that would have been the final battle of humans, but that didn't happen, so that's not what it was talking about.

        No, Skynet only sends the terminator back because it lost. Human burst in, and it fired up the experimental time machine and it sends two terminators back. One to 1984 and one to 1995. (If you think about which was sent where, and what Skynet had to have know about each time, you'll realize it makes sense. Remember the first one managed to kill two Sarah Connors.)

        The humans quickly send Reese back, and then they quickly reprogram the other Arnold that's laying around and send him back too.

        Perhaps this was two different battles, or two different facilities, but anyway, the point is, the time machines were, essentially, the last stand before Skynet was defeated. (Logically, you don't want to let your enemies have access to your time machines, so they'd be almost as well protected as yourself.)

        I suspect that Skynet figured out altering the past was just as big a threat to it as anything else, hence the time machine being used only when it about to be defeated.

        If you're wondering about T3, that actually took place in a different future, after T2 moved judgment day. (Which means that Skynet was right about time travel being a threat to it, as the Skynet from the first two movies is essentially dead, or rather never existed.)

    • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @04:21PM (#29954416) Journal

      ...some of us are sure that there are only three Indy films.

      Wait a second, there ARE only three Indy films. Why do you mention that fact like it's some sort of controversy? But I can understand how people could get confused. Lead actors occasionally play other roles.

      I do remember the MacGyver spinoff that Harrison Ford starred in, "crystal head" or something. I understand that some people think that had something to do with the Jones franchise, since Ford was the lead character in all the Indy films.

      But that's just confusion on their part, same as someone thinking that there was more than one "Die Hard" movie just because Willis starred in some other flicks, or that there are more than three Star Wars movies.

      PS: I'm not sure what they are selling off. There are really two Terminator films.

      Maybe they are trying to sell off "Summer Glau Show" off as part of the Terminator franchise (in which, if I could understand the plot, has something to do with her being a Terminator. I'm not entirely sure, though, because people keep blathering and getting on screen and sometimes blocking a clear view of her.) If so, that show can come back. Keep her and the mom, drop the young dude who appears to be Anakin Skywalker as a kid or something (boy genius who whines a lot about some destiny). Might sell a few ads on an off night and pay for itself if they don't try to spend too much time developing a cohesive plot or special effects that aren't wardrobe-related.

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        Dude when are you going to accept that they raped Indy? Stop suppressing the memory, people, it really happened!
  • by jameskojiro ( 705701 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:43PM (#29953842) Journal

    Was about the only good thing from the Terminator Franchise int he last 10 years.....

    And that is Sad....

  • Without the first two films, I doubt it would be worth even half of what TMNT was. It like telling someone they now own every Lucasfilm property, except for anything relating to Star Wars.
    • Link to source (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:48PM (#29953948)

      Not blog. Blog for stupid head.

      Source: []

    • Seriously, that's probably the best thing that could possibly happen to it at this point. Too bad Whedon doesn't have the money for a real offer.

      • by Mascot ( 120795 )

        Have you seen Dollhouse?

        I like Whedon as much as the next guy, but he's not by any means an "all he touches turns to gold" kind of guy.

        • Dollhouse started slow, but I think it's grown steadily more interesting. That's the way a lot of Whedon's work is for me, actually. Buffy hooked me right away, but Angel and Firefly both took a while. (In the case of Firefly, I got really dedicated to the series just about the the cancellation rumors started solidifying ...) So at this point I kind of assume that when I tune into a new Whedon project, it will be worth waiting for the good stuff.

          Unfortunately, this is not exactly a winning formula in Ho

          • by Mascot ( 120795 )

            For me, Dollhouse started slow and never got moving. I find there's virtually no character development or interaction of any interest. No greater story arc to keep me interested. After seeing "Epitaph One", my first thought was that I wish the show had been set in that time period, unraveling the past over the course of a season. That might have been interesting.

            Buffy never appealed to me, but obviously a lot of people disagree with me on that one.

            Firefly I think is pure genius.

            • by schon ( 31600 )

              Buffy never appealed to me, but obviously a lot of people disagree with me on that one.

              So.. a lot of people say it *did* appeal to you?

              Were you hit on the head and suffered partial amnesia of some sort? What?

    • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @04:04PM (#29954150)
      What's wrong with idea for "Terminator: The Musical!"? I think that's the best idea ever to come out of Joss Whedon! With hit songs like "I'll be Bach!" and "Hasta la vista, baby, baby, baby!" how can it possibly fail?
      • by ajs ( 35943 )

        You forgot the short, but memorable, "The Got The Bloodstains Out!"

      • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @04:21PM (#29954414) Homepage Journal
        That's what I thought they should have done with the "Alien" franchise after the second one. They already had the haunted house movie and the war movie, the next obvious step was the buddy cop movie and the musical. Oh, and "Aliens on Ice" (they don't even need skates...)
        • He's a straight-edge, no nonsense cop who does everything by the book.

          She's a vicious, bloodthirsty alien queen responsible for the deaths of thousands.

          Together, they fight crime!

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      Split it up however you like. Want to pay Ringo less? That's your call.
    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      What is he, like 12 or something?

  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:46PM (#29953906) Journal
    I guess that it is Judgment Day for the franchise...
  • Great. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:47PM (#29953932) Homepage Journal

    They, um, terminated the excellent Sarah Connor Chronicles to make way for that Transforminators piece of shit. And then they showed they can't even handle that. Way to go, guys.

  • by residieu ( 577863 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @03:52PM (#29953996)

    The auction will include rights to everything but the first two films.

    I don't get it. Why would someone pay for rights that exclude everything of value?

    • Well the US Government (actually the next 60 years of US taxpayers) paid $125 billion for the rights to a bunch of defaulted mortgages and worthless hedge funds ...

      • But at least they got some overvalued homes in the deal. They (we) *did* get more than just 'intellectual property'. Even if the homes burned down, the dirt under them are still worth SOMETHING...

      • The U.S. government, specifically Tim Geithner, also invested some $2.3 billion [] in a company destined for bankruptcy, CIT. The U.S. treasury was the lender of last resort and should have secured their investment by insuring they were the first to be repaid in event of bankruptcy, instead they didn't secure it at all so other less senior lenders get 70% back, the U.S. tax payer apparently got shafted out of the entire 2.3 billion.

        Maybe in that case as in Halcyon's, since it was someone else's money they wer

    • That's a great idea... we should have pet stores that sells things that come out of pets and retain the rights to the pet themselves.

      They're basically selling the turd that spawned out of the success of the first two films.
    • I'll start the bidding at -$10,000,000, because removing all but the first two movies would actually ADD to the franchise's value.

    • It's a rights deal (Score:5, Informative)

      by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @04:06PM (#29954192) Homepage

      The winner of the auction does not get the rights to any profits from the first two films.

      The winner does, on the other hand, get the right to do anything else with the rest of the entire franchise.

      As I understand it, that could include sequels to Terminator: Salvation or the Terminator 3 plotlines, continuations of the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series, or entirely new series based in the universe. From the sound of it, they're even selling off licensing rights to all of these properties.

      Still worthless, you say? According to TFA, the last time the Terminator franchise rights were sold, they went for $25 million. The purchaser used the rights to make Terminator: Salvation, which grossed $380 million worldwide. Not so bad.

      (On the other hand, it's maybe worth noting that the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles auctioned for more than twice what was paid for Terminator...)

      • by schon ( 31600 )

        As I understand it, that could include sequels to Terminator: Salvation or the Terminator 3 plotlines

        Unless it included the time machine that would allow the purchaser to go back in time and ensure those were never made, I still have trouble seeing the value.

        • I guess they could make a movie about going back in time to Terminate the making of the third and forth. And they could end it with someone finding the remains of the script for the third movie (the one the heroes used to figure out who the producers were, etc) burning in the wreckage of a movie studio, and deciding to make a movie based upon that script.

          But since it would be a sort of spoof, I'm not sure you'd actually need the rights to make that movie.

      • by fm6 ( 162816 )

        The purchaser used the rights to make Terminator: Salvation, which grossed $380 million worldwide. Not so bad.

        Not for a movie that cost $200 million to make. By the time you factor in marketing, distribution, etc., the thing barely broke even.

        • by topham ( 32406 )


          A movie that costs $200 million to make means that before it made it to the theater the producers & friends made $100 million.
          Most of the companies paid during the production of a movie are owned by the parties making the movie.

    • The auction will include rights to everything but the first two films.

      I don't get it. Why would someone pay for rights that exclude everything of value?

      Maybe if you think you can somehow inject more value back into it, then trying to get hold of the franchise for a bargain price might be worth a little effort and expenditure in the long run.

      Or, more likely, it'll be bought by someone who has no bright ideas or plans. They'll sit on it until other people have bright ideas (given the franchise still has a following and the first films are still held in the high esteem they are, people are going to be thinking about it) then sell/lease the rights to them for

    • You'd think for whoever owns the Terminator franchise, business would be a-boomin' on Judgement Day, when Skynet clicks to order.
    • by srealm ( 157581 )

      I don't know, but I know who to ask. Darl? where are you? What were we supposed to get for our $699 again?

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      I think the 3rd film gets an unfair bad rap. Yes, it is very different in tone than the first two films--much darker and more fatalistic. And it's set in a different timeline than the first two, it's true. But I like that someone took a different tack with it. If Mostow had just done a knockoff of the Cameron films, he would rightly be called to task for it. So he at least decided to go a different route (Screw that "Future is what we make it" optimism!). Yeah, the comedy bits were a bit overdone, but how c
  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @04:00PM (#29954092) Homepage Journal

    (Crowd of people walking around in the front yard of a surburban house, looking at various bits of household junk)

    Customer: (Looking around) Oh hey, what's this? It looks like some sort of oversized metal action figure!

    Homeowner: That's a robot we've had down in the basement for a couple years now. Has an interesting history. Supposedly, it was thrown together by an unknown, but obviously brilliant computer scientist [] as a work project. Shame about what happened to him.

    Supposedly after he'd finished building the thing, it got loose. There was this shotgun toting psycho of a woman [] who the police found raving and screaming about how it was trying to murder her and her kid []. The police had a hell of a time taking her into custody; they've kept her sedated and locked up in a padded cell ever since.

    Customer: Sounds like an amazing story! How much do you want for it?

    Homeowner: (Slowly, pausing) $60 million.

    Customer: WHAT?! But anyway...if anyone was even going to remotely consider paying that kind of money for it, it'd need to be able to do something beyond awesome! So give me a demonstration! How do I turn it on?

    (Finds an old car battery and some jumper cables nearby, as other items for sale)

    Hey, this'd work!

    Homeowner: I'm not sure that's such a good idea...

    Customer: It looks like just a kid's toy! Except a bit bigger of course. I'm sure it's perfectly safe!

    (Applies cables to battery and T800, causing an explosion of sparks. The T800 rises up slowly from its' previous sitting position, its' eyes beginning to glow red)

    Homeowner: ...

  • If he has the cash lying around, he should totally buy the franchise and turn it into something halfway decent.... or bury it. Too bad the buyer doesn't get the first two films. They were the only part of this franchise that were actually good.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    California is even auctioning off their governor. Their budget problems must be really bad.

  • Cameron (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 16K Ram Pack ( 690082 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (> on Monday November 02, 2009 @04:10PM (#29954240) Homepage
    I remember reading something where he said he passed on T3 because he couldn't see a good story. The guy might be one of the biggest assholes in Hollywood, but I'm grateful that he didn't just do it for the cash.
  • To Halcyon (Re:Terminator),
    I would like to purchase your rights to the Terminator franchise. I hereto offer you two full and unused pockets full lint and or little bits of string. I feel that having seen the last set of movies, this is more than a fair bid. I'm willing to throw in up too, but not exceeding, one full fist full of dryer lint as a good faith payment.

    Sincerely yours, Groggnrath (a devoted sci-fi fan).
  • When the company has so little faith in the franchise that they hand over the latest film to the assclown best known for directing the "Charlie's Angels" remake, is there any doubt it is dying?
  • Always a catch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tarlus ( 1000874 ) on Monday November 02, 2009 @07:04PM (#29956468)

    The auction will include rights to everything but the first two films.

    Well then it's no good.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.