Got A Few Million Bucks? Buy The Terminator Rights!

Little over a month ago we told you that rights for the Terminator franchise were probably going to hit the auction block to pay off debts for the Halcyon Holding Group, which bought the rights in 2007 for $25m. Now that has come to pass. Rights to the series are for sale, and the list of interested bidders is long and, for the most part, not at all surprising.

Nikki Finke reports that every big Hollywood studio is interested in the purchase, as are Summit and Media Rights Capital. Sony has the greatest interest, she says, as the auction is prepped for later this month. The package to be sold is fairly complete, as it includes the rights to "new Terminator films, TV program and other spin-offs." (Video games? One would assume so, and perhaps this sale will lead to the eventual release of a decent licensed Terminator game.)

Can't wait to see what someone pays for this. Again, Halcyon picked up the rights for $25m two years ago, and Terminator: Salvation has done $380m worldwide. Not the smash that was expected, and quite obviously not the one that was needed, given that Halcyon immediately went into Chapter 11 once the film was done. What's the series worth, then? Halcyon's Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek have claimed the package is worth up to $60m now, but that seems exorbitant.

Given the performance of both the Sarah Connor Chronicles and Salvation ($380m worldwide against a $200m production budget and accompanying marketing budget really isn't much) I'd guess that this sale will top out around $40m, if that. When T2 came out it was easy to see why it dominated, with those flashy CGI effects that were so new at the time and Arnie returning to an early role. But Arnie's not in the picture for now and effects don't sell the way they used to. So what's in the Terminator franchise to really draw in an audience to make a massive rights purchase worthwhile?