Terminator vs Terminator 2: Judgement Day - A case study in creating more popular science fiction films

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This presentation analyses the shift in science fiction films during the 1970s/80s and how the films of the Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day have impacted/been impacted by popularity and society.

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Terminator vs Terminator 2: Judgement Day - A case study in creating more popular science fiction films

  1. 1. THE TERMINATOR (1984) VS TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991) A Case Study on the Impact of Audience Expectations
  2. 2. SCIENCE FICTION SUBGENRES OF 1970-80S Darker, antitechnology science fiction: • Mad Max (1979) • The Road Warrior (1981) • Blade Runner (1982) • Streets of Fire (1984) • The Terminator (1984) Lighter, more optimistic science fiction: •Star Wars (1977) •The Empire Strikes Back (1980) •E.T (1982) •Return of the Jedi (1983)
  3. 3. THE TERMINATOR • Released in 1984 and was a surprise hit at the boxoffice • “Audience discovered this “sleeper” and made it number one at the box-office for six weeks.” • Modest budget - $6.5 million • Profited $38.4 million by the end of theatrical run • Initially received favourable review but mixed reviews. Critics’ opinions changed later.
  4. 4. “Most critics admired its roller-coaster thrills and intriguing plot, but few felt it was a “great” film… Most regarded it as a workmanlike “good film of its type” (“B”-level science fiction/action), a weak compliment.”
  5. 5. CRITICAL RECEPTION OF THE FILM GRADUALLY CHANGED BECAUSE: 1. The Terminator’s influenced other films: 1. On the style and content of other directors’ films. They often imitated and quoted The Terminator. 2. On subsequent style and dialogue of Schwarzenegger’s own subsequent action films 3. It became a part of popular culture, mentioned in a variety of other texts etc. 2. The Terminator acted as a career building film, setting into motion: 1. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting career and James Cameron’s directing career, as well as many other cast members’ careers. 3. The Terminator impacted film analysis: 1. The visual style and written content of the film apparently provided “food for thought”, resulting in many published articles in film journals.
  6. 6. THE TRANSITION FROM TERMINATOR TO THE SEQUEL… Dark, antitechnology scifi The Terminator Terminator 2: Judgement Day Lighter, more optimistic scifi. E.g. Star Wars
  7. 7. THE COMPARISON… The Terminator Terminator 2: Judgement Day • Released in 1984 and was a surprise hit at the box-office - #1 for six weeks. • Released 1991 • Modest budget - $6.5 million • Profited $38.4 million by the end of theatrical run • Initially received favourable review but mixed reviews. Critics’ opinions changed later. • Much bigger budget - $94 million • Profited $204.8 million by the end of theatrical run • Gained greater success because it took a popular film + audience expectations to create a more commercial film.
  8. 8. YOUR TASK… • Watch the trailers for the films, research each film’s narrative content and style, then compare the stories. • Create a venn diagram to show the similarities and differences between the two films.
  9. 9. THE TERMINATOR (1984)
  10. 10. • How does the Terminator 2: Judgement Day film trailer use audience expectation to sell its film? What are some of the words the narrator uses?
  11. 11. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
  12. 12. AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS: THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES • TASK: What are the positives and negatives of the audience expectations that we’ve discussed around science fiction? • Write a pros vs cons list/diagram/explanation.

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