1984’s «The Terminator» ran the risk of blending into the sea of low-budget sci-fi action movies that were flooding the market at the time. However, with a smart script, a great cast, and slick direction from James Cameron, «The Terminator» was able to stand out from the pack and become an enduring genre-spanning classic.
For a young director in his early 20s with only $6.4 million (around $18 million when adjusted for inflation) to work with, James Cameron was extremely ambitious with «The Terminator.» Showcasing a post-apocalyptic future, numerous types of special effects including advanced stop-motion, and huge action sequences, «The Terminator» really stretched its small budget to the limit. There have been many «Terminator» sequels in the years since of wildly varying levels of quality.
Every sequel was made for a budget of at least $100 million – with most clocking in significantly higher — dwarfing the original film many times over. The most expensive sequel was «Terminator Salvation,» which came with a hefty $200 million price tag. The latest outing in the series, «Terminator Dark Fate,» was made for an eye-watering $185 million, and although it turned a profit it was the lowest-grossing entry since the original.