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3 Movies of James Cameron That Struggled to Even Earn $150,000,000 at Box Office Including One Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie

3 Movies of James Cameron That Struggled to Even Earn $150,000,000 at Box Office Including One Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie

Occupying the top stop at the global box office for more than 25 years, James Cameron has been making the highest-grossing films of all time. However, despite being the modern world’s billion-dollar director, with his recent movies grossing more than $5B, Cameron’s initial years of direction went through immense struggles.

James Cameron
James Cameron

Striving at the box office, James Cameron’s movies initially performed poorly and failed to earn him a reputation or the budget. Despite being known for his Oscar-winning movies like Titanic and Avatar, Cameron’s directorial debut and two of his ambitious movies during his initial days struggled immensely at the box office. Check out the three movies from the Oscar-winning director that failed to earn even $150M at the box office. 

Also read: James Cameron Becomes the First Director Ever to Have 3 Films Gross Over $1.5 Billion Worldwide

1) The Terminator (1984) – $78.3M 

Although James Cameron is popularly known for his 1997 romantic drama Titanic, his directorial list is filled with several other masterpieces. Sharpening his skills over the years, Cameron made his true directorial debut with his 1984 movie, The Terminator.  

James Cameron
Cameron’s 1984 The Terminator

Navigating the story of a robotic assassin played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the movie also includes Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), another future visitor that was sent to save Connor. Trying out the futuristic story, although James Cameron succeeded in gaining a reputation, his movie performed poorly at the box office. 

Earning barely $78.3M, Cameron was smart enough to make it a relatively low-budget movie. Although The Terminator changed the landscape of modern filmmaking, and made people seek out more futuristic movies including assassin cyborgs, the gross earning of the movie was definitely not up to the mark. 

Watch The Terminator on HBO Max and Amazon Prime. 

2) Aliens (1986) – $131M

Witnessing audiences’ appreciation for sci-fi thrillers, James Cameron delved deeper into the realm and brought one of his greatest science-fiction movies of all time, Aliens, to the big screens. Experimenting with Ridley Scott’s prequel Alien (1979), Cameron played with the mysterious derelict spaceship and the extraterrestrials. 

James Cameron
Cameron’s 1986 movie Aliens

Picking up where the prequel ended, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and her escape pod are recovered by Weyland-Yutani. However, after the colony goes dark, Ripley accompanies a Colonial Marines unit to the planet where she further faces the Xenomorph threat. Although the movie is considered even better than its first installment, Cameron’s movie earned only $131M. 

Watch James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) only on Disney+. 

Also read: “I’ve never been in a movie that made $1 Billion”: Matt Damon Still Can’t Move On From the Biggest Blunder of His Acting Career

3) The Abyss (1989) – $90M 

Inculcating a strong desire for sci-fi movies, James Cameron further came up with his 1989 movie, The Abyss. Exploring underwater way before Titanic, Cameron built the movie based on the story of an American submarine going missing in the ocean. Attempting to retrieve it before the Soviets, a team is sent underwater. 

James Cameron
Cameron’s The Abyss (1989)

Lindsey Brigman (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), is sent in with the SEAL team to find the submarine when they encounter alien lifeforms under the sea. Deeply captivated by the concept of aliens, Cameron directed his 1989 movie, The Abyss, although it became one of his most overlooked films of all time. 

Exploring his love for the unknown, James Cameron visually created breathtaking scenes, triggering claustrophobia with his thriller. However, his movie simply earned $90M and became a less bombastic movie compared to his major hits. 

Watch The Abyss (1989) on Amazon Prime and Netflix. 

Read more: James Cameron Says that the First Two Avatar Films “were an introduction, a way to set the table before serving the meal”