Schwarzenegger's highest grossing film was Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This follow-up to the first film gave viewers a greater insight to the life of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her teenage son, John Connor (Edward Furlong), and upheld Schwarzenegger's promise to fans: "I'll be back." Director James Cameron used action-packed sequences along with depth of both the human and cyborg characters to attract new fans of the series and satisfy critics as well.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Worldwide Gross: $433.4 million
Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator yet again, but this time with help. John Connor (Nick Stahl) is still being hunted by Terminators sent through SkyNet from the future. This time, however, a SkyNet virus infects the U.S. military computers and leaves the country open to attack, starting a war between humans and machines. This third movie of the Terminator franchise, written by James Cameron, was well received by critics and helped by an already loyal fan base from the previous two films.
True Lies (1994)
Worldwide Gross: $378.9 million
In another James Cameron work, True Lies sees Schwarzenegger as secret agent Harry Tasker, living a double life as a computer salesman with his wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis). When he finds out his wife is cheating on him due to lack of excitement, he arranges to kidnap her and her new man, giving her more excitement than she may have bargained for. The stunt-heavy film, with stunts performed by Schwarzenegger and Curtis themselves, was one of the highlights for viewers.
Total Recall (1990)
Worldwide Gross: $261.3 million
This sci-fi flick saw Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid, a regular guy with a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. When he buys a holiday at a company that sells implanted memories, it jogs his brain and he suddenly remembers his past as a secret agent. The film debuted No. 1 at the box office, and critic Roger Ebert said at the time, "This is one of the most complex and visually interesting science fiction movies in a long time."
Worldwide Gross: $242.3 million
In the 1996 film, Schwarzenegger plays U.S. Marshal John "The Eraser" Kruger, a Witness Protection specialist. He's assigned to protect Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams) in a case about a scam within her employer company, a military weapon supplier for the military called Cyrez Corporation. What Kruger soon finds out, though, is that his boss just might be the brains behind the corruption. The movie's selling point was the extreme amount of action scenes included, from chase scenes to explosions and shoot-outs.
Batman & Robin (1997)
Worldwide Gross: $238.2 million
This film, the fourth in the Batman series, saw Schwarzenegger playing Mr. Freeze alongside Uma Thurman, who played Poison Ivy. Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O'Donnell) must try to save the city from harm, while also struggling to keep their partnership alive. The movie wasn't a huge hit with critics, as some criticized director Joel Schumaker for incorporating too many jokes. The film's opening weekend, however, saw the third highest gross of 1997 behind The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Men In Black.
Worldwide Gross: $216.6 million
Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito may not look anything like twins, but they play them in this Ivan Reitman film about genetically engineered children. While Schwarzenegger's character, the perfectly proportioned Julius, lives a normal, happy life, DeVito's Vincent is sent to an orphanage and grows up to be a low-life in trouble with some loan sharks. When he discovers that his twin brother is out there somewhere, Vincent decides to go looking for him. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but many praised its comedy and that the idea of the movie worked well.
End of Days (1999)
Worldwide Gross: $211.9 million
This film cast Schwarzenegger as Jericho Cane, a cop-turned-atheist after the murder of his wife and daughter, who must stop the devil from taking over the world at the turn of the century. This film was also poorly received by critics, but with Y2K and end of the world suspicious abounding, coupled with a late-November release date, the timing was right for the public to see a movie about a potential apocalypse.
Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Worldwide Gross: $201.9 million
Schwarzenegger takes a turn from action to comedy in this film about a police officer, Detective John Kimble. Kimble is close to taking down drug lord Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) whom he's been tracking down for years. When Crisp's ex-wife, the only one that can testify against him, goes missing, Kimble must take on his most challenging undercover role yet: a kindergarten teacher. This film received lukewarm reviews from critics, but the general consensus of the public was that Arnold's try at comedy worked. Roger Ebert, at the time, said "Kindergarten Cop is made up out of parts that shouldn't fit, but somehow they do, making a slick entertainment out of the improbable, the impossible, and Arnold Schwarzenegger."
Last Action Hero (1993)
Worldwide Gross: $137.3 million
Schwarzenegger plays himself in this film, as well as his action film alter-ego Jack Slater. A super-fan kid named Danny gets a magic ticket to enter the world of Slater, and hang out with his favorite action hero. But when a villain of the film, Benedict, gets ahold of the magic ticket and enters into the real world, Slater and Danny must follow him and try to stop him from destroying the film. The film made most of its money oversees, having grossed $87.3 million abroad to date.