Hollywood Studios Lose Bid For Terminator Franchise Rights

The Terminator movie rights went up for auction today, and Sony Pictures and Lionsgate were bidding frantically back and fourth from 3:00pm to 8:00pm tonight. But as the dust cleared, neither movie studio came out the winner. Halcyon accepted a $29.5 million bid from a Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor, the debtholder which pushed the company into bankruptcy.Of course, this is subject to the approval by the bankruptcy court.

According to Finke's source, "Sony and Lionsgate dropped out at just under $29.5 million when it became clear that Pacificor was willing to pay almost any amount of money for Terminator." As part of the deal, Halcyon will keep the revenue streams from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation, and will receive $5 million for every Terminator movie produced in the future.

What this all means for the future of the Terminator franchise is unclear.  The last Terminator film earned $372 million worldwide theatrically. And while Arnold might soon be available for big screen offers, I'm not sure they could afford him. I'm not a money guy, but it seems to me that the smartest thing they could do is make the fifth Termiantor film for about half the estimated budget of Salvation, aiming in the $100-$120 million range.