How the mighty tumble! Just yesterday, Hollywood trembled in awe before the Terminator series; creator of planet-devouring sequels and merchandising. Today, it goes on the auction block like the baggage at some grizzly slave auction.

The Financial Times reports that the rights to the Terminator kingdom — films, TV shows, ringtones, pajamas, you name it — will be put on the block this month, with Sony the front-runner to take home the goods.

While the original films, and T2 in particular, were powerhouse earners in their day, after the franchise lay dormant for a decade, attempts to reboot have been spotty.

2003's Terminator 3 did not turn out to be the artistic or box-office bomb that many feared, but shortly after that film's release producer Mario Kassar sold off the franchise to the all-but-unknown unknown Halcyon Entertainment, which created a forgettable TV series and an abysmal McG directed film, Terminator Salvation.

Halcyon has now been driven to Chapter 11, which led to the court-directed auction of its assets, primarily poor forgotten Terminator.

Fortunately for the sad little franchise, any idea that has any sort of merchandiseable juice behind it is nothing to be sneezed by a teetering Hollywood, grabbing for any thin reed they can. And in fact, despite being battered and bruised, Terminator remains a fairly lucrative cash cow, with the full Salvation take, all told - international, DVD, etc at more than $375 million. A few weeks ago the Mutant Ninja Turtles sold off for $60 million and it certainly seems plausible that
Terminator could fetch a higher price tag than that.

And with Arnold leaving the Governor's office in just over a year... it might be time for the world to say "Hasta la vista baby" all over again.