The Tom Cruise-headlined The Mummy is headed towards a hefty financial loss, despite its strong performance overseas. Thanks to Marvel Studios’ wildly successful MCU franchise, every studio in Hollywood wants nothing more than to carve out their own interconnected cinematic universe. Universal’s attempt at this is the Dark Universe, a franchise that features modern renditions of the company’s legendary classic monsters, and has brought in huge stars like Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Cruise to serve as audience draws.
The Dark Universe officially kicked off with this month’s The Mummy, starring Cruise and Sofia Boutella as the titular creature. Unfortunately for Universal, The Mummy has been received quite coldly by American audiences, so far earning only $57 million in the nearly two weeks it’s been in stateside theaters. Critics also savaged the film, leading to a paltry 16 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, and at least one declaration that The Mummy was in fact the worst effort of Cruise’s career.
The big saving grace so far for both The Mummy and the future prospect’s of Universal’s Dark Universe as a whole is that Cruise’s film has been much more happily welcomed by overseas audiences, raking in an additional $236 million from outside the U.S. Despite that seemingly large haul though, according to a new report by Deadline, The Mummy is still unlikely to be profitable for Universal. In fact, the film is on pace to lose the studio an estimated $95 million. Not exactly a great way to begin a new movie universe.
According to Deadline‘s sources, The Mummy cost Universal much more to make than its previously-reported $125 million production budget, with the actual number being a gargantuan $195 million. Add onto that another $150 million in distribution and marketing costs for such a big tentpole blockbuster, and one arrives at a whopping $345 million investment in the film. The Mummy is expected to end its global theatrical run with $375 million, not nearly enough to even earn back money already spent, since the studio receives only a portion of the box office.
Deadline goes on to lay out several more increasingly complex factors that play into The Mummy striking out financially, but as mentioned before, their conclusion is that the film will lose $95 million, even after estimated home video sales are factored in. As of yet, there are no signs that the Dark Universe won’t proceed as planned, but Universal cannot be happy about this turn of events.
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