Defying low pre-release expectations, The Terminator topped the United States box office for two weeks, eventually grossing $78.3 million against a modest $6.4 million budget. It is credited with launching Cameron's film career and solidifyingSchwarzenegger's status as a leading man. The film's success led to a franchise consisting of several sequels, a television series, comic books,novels and video games. In 2008, The Terminator was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Schwarzenegger originally read for the part of Kyle Reese. In his fledgling acting career, he had already played the title character in Hercules in New York, and Conan the Barbarian, and naturally wanted to be the hero of The Terminatormovie. Although he may have first been put forward for this role by his agent, Cameron was cool on the idea: “I was very negative on the idea of Arnold playing Reese."
Schwarzenegger, at lunch with Cameron after his reading, couldn’t stop thinking about the Terminator: "The more I read the script, the more I got fascinated by the Terminator – the bad guy – which I thought was the real cool guy. We weretalking along the lines of me playing the heroic character."
After looking at a mocked up painting that Cameron had made of him as the Terminator, Schwarzenegger had made up his mind: "I am the Terminator, I'mgonna make this call now, I called [Cameron] right away and Isaid 'I want to play the Terminator,' and the deal was made."
Attached of some images from behind the scenes.