The Mummy may not be the franchise starter Universal is hoping for, as new tracking puts the film in range for a middling debut of about $40 million. Ever since Marvel Studios introduced the concept of a shared cinematic universe, the idea has taken the world of blockbuster filmmaking by storm. Unfortunately for most studios, they’ve failed to mirror Marvel’s success by focusing too much on the franchise and not enough on the individual movies. While Star Wars, the DCEU, and even the burgeoning MonsterVerse from Legendary have all managed varying degrees of success, a number of others have failed to even launch.
Among those universes struggling to emerge is Universal Pictures’ shared monster-centric world. Based on reboots of their classic characters, the studio has long hoped to spin new films into a giant universe of supernatural creatures. A few years back, the plan was for Dracula Untold to kick things off, but its box office failure forced Universal to walk back their plans. With this year’s The Mummy, Universal have once again bet it all, hoping the Tom Cruise film will be able to spin out multiple films. According to the newest box office predictions, however, they may not be quite there yet.
THR is reporting that The Mummy is now tracking for a $40 million dollar opening domestically. With a budget of $125M, it’s a mediocre debut, but doesn’t account for the film’s international haul. Like many blockbusters, the film will likely fare better overseas, and could end up earning enough to justify a sequel. Of course, those numbers put it in the same range as 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon, which was a colossal failure and killed the successful Brendan Fraser franchise.
Even if The Mummy does earn enough for Universal to move forward with a sequel, it’s not merely a follow-up they’re looking for with the new movie. The introduction of Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is meant to kick off a bigger universe that is said to feature the actor as the infamous character and a unifying force. More than that, but Universal have already begun plans for films featuring a number of their other characters.
So far, preliminary work has already begun for a new version of Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Johnny Depp has joined the Invisible Man reboot. New takes on Frankenstein and Wolf Man are also in the works. While the failure of The Mummy could spell doom for the shared universe, the films could succeed if they can truly operate as standalone movies.
Then again, the predications could be off and The Mummy may surprise us. The latest trailer for the film just dropped, teasing the final marketing push for the upcoming movie. With it, we could see increased interest in the film and Cruise may have another hit on his hands. Either way, we should know in a few weeks when The Mummy debuts.