Terminator: Dark Fate director Tim Miller blamed “Get Woke and Go Broke” sentiment for the film bombing at the box office.
During a recent episode of the “The Business with Kim Masters” podcast the host shared Miller’s analysis on the box office failure of Terminator: Dark Fate as well as audience reaction to the film.
Not only does Miller share his analysis on the film, but he and Masters go back and forth about Miller’s reaction to fans compared to Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler. The conversation took place before the release of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Master’s discussion with Miller begins around the 9:40 mark.
The clip begins with Miller saying, “There was a lot of ‘get woke and go broke’ sentiment that didn’t help us, but…”
When asked to explain what that means, Miller responds, “There was a lot of issues about having three women in lead positions and all of that stuff.”
He adds, “There is quite a toxic atmosphere around this film online, which I was really surprised at. I shouldn’t be, but I was.”
Masters then posits the idea that fans are lying in wait to pounce on directors and creatives because they know what they don’t want.
Miller agrees with this assertion saying, “Yeah and unfortunately, I think it is a small minority, but it’s a very vocal minority and they make a lot of noise and it’s hard. You now, I don’t dwell online on the negativity, but it’s human nature to read a little bit.”
“Here’s one. I did a Vanity Fair [interview], it was a break down of a scene and I’m in a dark blue shirt and I’m in a small room in the hotel where they were doing the junket and it’s hot, and there’s lots of lights in there. And so by the end of the hour of interviewing I’m sweating, right? And I just read a couple of comments and they are like ‘Look at this f***ing guy, he’s sweating because he destroyed the franchise,’ ‘Look at this guy he’s f***ing sweating because he knows his career is over and he’s tanked the franchise.’ And I’m like, no I’m sweating because the room is hot and there’s a lot of lights on me. And maybe I didn’t put on enough antiperspirant. I’m not nervous or you know there’s not nothing… Anyway, it’s both side and funny to see the stories that people put out there versus what but now the **** that is really going on.”
Miller does add that he believes there is value to finding out what people are thinking.
He says, “I do feel that there is some value to this perspective. You know, there’s some insight to what people are thinking. You can’t…”
Miller also admits that he knows some of the things he did with Terminator: Dark Fate would be controversial, “We did some stuff that I knew would be controversial.”
The conversation then turns toward Sonic the Hedgehog, Miller was a producer on the film. He details that he helped director Jeff Fowler with the crew noting that like Deadpool, they filmed in Vancouver, so he had a lot of the Deadpool crew join the Sonic team.
Miller also discussed the fan reaction Fowler received to the original design of Sonic the Hedgehog.
“It was a tactical error on the design of Sonic for sure, but Jeff took ownership of it right away and he said, ‘Look we hear you and we’re gonna fix it” and they did. The new design and new trailer came out, and generally speaking, everybody’s…”
Miller then notes he believes the new trailer and the new design would overcome the first design. We know this to be the case given Sonic the Hedgehog would be the #1 movie in the United States two weeks in a row and has grossed over $111 million domestically and $207 million worldwide.
He then credits Fowler for listening to the fans, “I think rightly so he gets credit for listening. Fans like to be heard. If you are going to scream, the best thing that can happen is someone listens to you.”
He concludes, “I know there is a lot of, like you can’t be held hostage to them, but use your good judgment. I think Jeff realized that…I think he realized he needed to fix it.”
What Miller leaves out of this conversation is that he took issue with fan reaction following the release of a poster for the film. In fact, he describes fans who took issue with the poster as “closet misogynyist[s].”
“If you’re at all enlightened, she’ll play like gangbusters. If you’re a closet misogynist, she’ll scare the f*** out of you, because she’s tough and strong but very feminine.”
While Miller indicates in this recent interview with Kim Masters that there is some value to listening to fans, he also doubled down on his criticism of the fans calling them “toxic.” Interestingly enough he also describes this people as a small minority.
However, given the film bombed at the box office, one has to question the validity of that statement. In the grand scheme of things they might be a small minority, but it looks like they might have made up a significant portion of people who might have gone and seen the film had Miller not attacked them and admittedly introduced a number of controversial plot lines into the film.
What do you think of Miller’s comments? Do you think he learned anything from Terminator: Dark Fate bombing and Sonic the Hedgehog’s rousing success?