'Terminator 2' nears $100 million in tickets


"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is rapidly nearing the magical $100 million mark at the box office, spurred on by kids and teens who are going back to see it a second or third time.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger action film had sold about 13 million tickets across the United States, translating to $61.7 million in its first seven days of release.

By last night, "Terminator 2" was expected to be comfortably past $90 million and is expected to top $100 million by tomorrow, according to estimates by Bill Soady, executive vice president of distribution for Tri-Star Pictures.

"I've talked with exhibitors who get the pulse of the audience and they're telling me that we're getting kids and teens coming back," Soady said. If so, that would be the kind of repeat business that propelled such movies as "Batman" and "Home Alone" into the box-office stratosphere.

But there are questions among some in the exhibition business about how long "Terminator 2" can sustain the fierce pace, especially when the movie is drawing an unusually high number of adults about half. It's mostly the teens and children who will see it again.

Another concern is how it fares with the female audience. Schwarzenegger action-movie audiences are usually 25 percent to 30 percent female. And some polls, including the four-state Cinemascore survey of moviegoers, show similar results this time, although Tri-Star's own polls put the female share of the audience much higher.

Meanwhile, the original 1984 sleeper "The Terminator" has sprung to life on home video thanks to the record-breaking "T2."

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