Things continue to look dire for The Mummy, with the potential franchise-starter opening to a weak night of previews. Few studios have successfully been able to imitate Marvel’s shared universe strategy, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying. Universal Studios has been attempting to kick off a movie monster universe for years, but have yet to launch a solid franchise starter. All of their hopes seemed to be poured into this weekend’s The Mummy, but their efforts have been plagued by missteps. From stealing their universe’s name from Warner Bros. to planning half a dozen future projects before their first film was out, things haven’t been looking good.
Before any of those new movies can arrive, however, Universal has to see whether Tom Cruise and a reboot of The Mummy can find an audience. While this weekend will prove the ultimate test, things are off to a rough start. After early projections pegged the movie with a mediocre haul, the unexpected success of Wonder Woman quickly deflated things with only $35 million possible opening for the blockbuster. With a budget estimated to be between $125–195M, a weak domestic debut would not be good news for Universal. Now, things are starting to look even worse.
Deadline has the numbers from last night’s previews of The Mummy and it only managed to pull in $2.66M. While not the worst Thursday for a Tom Cruise film, it’s dangerously low versus other preview hauls from blockbusters this year. For context, Wonder Woman nabbed $11M last Thursday before its debut. Interestingly, the DC superhero film pulled in an impressive $9.2M yesterday, continuing its impressive run and landed almost 4 times what The Mummy managed. Given the numbers, it will hardly be a surprise when Wonder Woman once agains wins the weekend.
Aside from the success of Wonder Woman, The Mummy also seems to be suffering from a few other factors. Not only have the reviews been paltry—including our own—but audiences don’t seem quite as enamored with Cruise as a lead actor anymore. What’s more, but the trailers and marketing have failed to present and original or captivating film. Meanwhile, this weekend will also see the release of indie film It Comes at Night, a more proper horror film that will continue to bleed The Mummy‘s intended audience.
For fans of the actor, film, and potential franchise, there’s still reason to hold out hope. Cruise has long been a bigger draw overseas than at home, and predictions are pegging The Mummy‘s potential international haul as much larger than the domestic one. It’s already opened to record numbers in South Korea, and estimates have it looking like Cruise’s biggest foreign success so far.
If the numbers overall are strong enough, Universal could easily spin the film as a success. After all, foreign markets are continually proving to be impactful to the way studios do business, and concepts and performers that we find dated in the states are still relatively fresh in other countries. Given those factors, The Mummy could end up doing quite well and Universal may decide to try out a few more of their monster films to see if they fare any better. We’ll bring you the full story on The Mummy‘s box office when the weekend ends, so stay tuned.