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‘The Mummy’ is About Halfway to Recoup

I don’t really like reporting on box office numbers because they’re arbitrary and impossible to corroborate. In fact, if reporting news is supposed to be factual, box office numbers are about as “fake news” as real news gets. Any writer who claims to have a firm grasp on them is lying, but we can at least make educated guesses based on our knowledge of how the studio system works. Yesterday I talked a bit about 47 Meters Downs theatrical opening specifically because I wanted to make sure that people understood that it was a successful release. Depending on how one looks at the results, it could have been deemed a failure. It wasn’t. The Mummy, however, is an interesting one because of the various hit pieces being taken out on Tom Cruise, not to mention the film flopping here in the States.

With a reported budget of $125M (although reports peg it more around $200M), The Mummy closed this weekend with an estimated $56M take. That’s devastating. To put it in perspective, adding in marketing spend, it looks like the film will need to gross at the very least $600M to break even. The Mummy won’t even cross $100M domestically, while Wonder Woman is on her way to $400M. Sure, they aren’t one in the same but The Mummy is supposed to be the beginning of Universal’s “Dark Universe”, which is supposed to be a horror take on DC and Marvel’s Cinematic Universes. With Cruise’s name failing to make an impact, the future looks rocky at best.

[Related] The Mummy Director Isn’t Making Movies for Critics

But as I reported before, the international numbers could be the saving grace. While there’s still a long way to go, as of this writing the worldwide estimate is close to topping $300M, which is about halfway to its target. It’s still early for the film but the strong international openings suggest it could have some legs.

It’s unclear where Universal Pictures executives heads are at with the film. Are they 100% committed to The Bride of Frankenstein or is the entire Dark Universe’s future riding on the success of The Mummy? Even if the film were to break even, you have to wonder what the ripple effect would after such a disastrous release. Will they revise their strategy? Change budgets? Rework scripts? Pull the plug altogether? We’ll be keeping an eye on everything because this hugely impacts our beloved genre’s future.



  • I liked the movie but I don’t want more movies of The Dark Universe, because as horror fan I don’t want to see horror icons portrayed as normal characters of action movies.
    The return of Dracula and the rest of the squad could be great if the producers choose to do horror movies with action elements instead the opposite.

    • nrkist

      I agree with you. I personally hated it, but the primary problem in this film is it lacks a MONSTER. MONSTER’S don’t have complicated reasons for doing what they do, it is simply intrinsic to them, which is what makes them monstrous.

      The humanizing of these characters just makes them second-rate superhero/villains. It’s almost like they sliced everything to have the least context to the thing it is supposed to be reviving.

      I dunno why they went so over-the-top with it.

  • MM

    Perhaps these abysmal numbers will rightfully show Universal that, if you’re going to remake these monsters for modern audiences, then make thoughtful, atmospheric horror movies that made them iconic and to not just throw them in a cheap Mission Impossible ripoff. I hope they do some soul searching before Bride of Frankenstein.

    • MODOK

      Everyone keeps saying it was an action movie or a MI ripoff, but it wasn’t. I think those are assumptions without having seen it. Outside of perhaps the opening scene, it was much closer to a horror movie than an action movie.

      • Jesse Sikora

        Couldn’t disagree with you more. It was non stop CGI with all the typical actin type scenes and explosion after explosion. And of course I’ve seen it.


    Although the problems with this movie have been debated endlessly here and elsewhere, one thing I want to point out is that this is further proof that studios need to abandon their fixation on summer releases.

    I know the idea is that summers are the most profitable because kids are out of school and adults are on vacation, so everyone’s supposedly going to see more movies than they would at any other time of the year. “Summer blockbuster” still has a desirable cachet that other times of the year can’t match.

    But the summer is just so damn crowded. This week’s big release is cast aside immediately in favor of next week’s big release. And if you don’t have an enormous opening week in the summer, you’re ridiculed as a failure, even if the gross might be respectable at other times of the year. Just look at how all the shit-talking about The Mummy’s production has overtaken everything else.

    Meanwhile, studios ignore the fact that movies do quite well in February, November, etc. People like seeing movies, period. A mediocre movie that’s an afterthought in June might do better if it’s the only big thing in March. Instead of getting overwhelmed by Wonder Woman in its opening weekend and a bunch of other new movies last weekend, The Mummy could’ve had some other time of the year more to itself.

  • Josh Blitzenbrox Myers

    “With Cruise’s name failing to make an impact”

    Cruise is one of the reasons I avoided this in the first place

    • Agree!
      The first time I saw the trailer I though “Damn, why Tom Cruise is starring? This will be a sh*t”

    • jv

      Yes he was the only reason i skipped that movie don’t like throwing money away to watch some punk with a huge ego!

    • nrkist

      Yeah, Cruise is a weird choice and doesn’t fit the mold of the hero in Universal films. You need a solid stoic everyman. Tom Hardy, Thomas Jane. It wasn’t just Cruise though, the character was just wrong top to bottom.

      Edit: More than anything, the Mummy just did not land. The Monster in a Monster film has to land and BE a Monster. This Mummy was weak.

  • Josh Blitzenbrox Myers

    The biggest turn off for me is
    A: Turning Universal monster movies into action series instead of horror

    B: Modernizing everything. Part of the charm of these films is the gothic tone. I don’t want to see Dracula using cell phones. I don’t want to see Frankenstein set to dubstep. I want gothic horror.

    Penny Dreadful pulled off exactly the kind of tone that I wanted to see for these films. The modern action movie with Tom Cruise idea strips away everything I like about universal monsters.

  • Jesse Sikora

    Less CGI, less action, more horror!!! And keep the classic monsters looks.

    • nrkist

      I’m all for less CGI…but do you remember the classic monster films? They weren’t exactly horror films and they weren’t very good. The monsters themselves are pretty iconic, but the execution was often hammy b-grade and had very little horror elements. The Universal Monsters are more like low-level villains with a classic strong/stoic everyman Joe saving a classic fainting damsel in distress.

      I enjoy them, but they aren’t exactly ‘horror’.

      This is not to defend the new Mummy film. It’s pretty goofy and not in a good way.

      I think Universal has kinda the kernel of ‘what’ a revision of those films would be: fun, rather than horror focused, they just messed up badly.

      Also…if you can get Russel Crowe…and you have a Wolfman film in the pipes, why would u waste him as Dr Jekyll? Russel Crowe has a similar look to Lon Chaney and he’s A-list.

  • Creepshow

    These ads in the middle of the comment section are fucking great!
    Thanks, pricks.

    • Necro

      I know! Finally someone said it Thank You!

    • Matty Ice 2016

      Open up your heart and let the hate out !!!

  • sliceanddice

    “I don’t really like reporting on box office numbers because they’re arbitrary and impossible to corroborate”

    You do it all the fucking time.

  • boxcar182

    My take on movies have changed, maybe because it’s just the getting older mentality but I enjoyed The Mummy.

    I was entertained, which is what I am looking for when watching a movie.

    I was never bored during this film. I laughed, was into the action, found the horror rather light but still pretty dark at times.

    Liked it better than I thought I would.

  • Matty Ice 2016

    Cruise had his hands all over ruining this movie….He needs to check his fucking ego and take direction from the director , script writer, studio, ect…..He has been surrounded by yes yes people his whole life …Yes Yes ?

    • Evan3

      Why the fuck should he listen to them? They hired him to make this movie. They hired him to headline the movie. They wanted a Tom Cruise film and damned if he didn’t give this his all (they literally filmed the plane crash scene in zero gravity on high atmosphere planes)? Does this work more often than not? Yes (see: Mission Impossible movies, Live, Die, Repeat).

      And why do you think the shitburg whose co-written the Transformers films would have rescued this movie? Why did they put him in the director’s chair for his first ever film as director?

      This goes on one head. And it’s the studio’s.

  • Necro

    ‘Bright Universe’ is supposed…………………sorry ‘Dark Universe’ is supposed to be a “horror take”? Maybe try using that bullshit on fanbase that are full of fucking morons! I’m here to tell you Horror fans ARE NOT fucking morons! I seriously hope they’re realizing this isn’t going to work. The “horror take” is really “action take” and there’s no getting around it. Go back to the drawing board Universal and lower the budgets, replace the A-list actors or even if they are A-list, find the ones that at least like and respect the Horror genre, find Horror directors who actually control their sets and creative control, most importantly actually make HORROR MOVIES not Action movies with crumbs of Horror sprinkled in. Universal; whatever questions you may have just ask yourselves what would the Horror genre do here, there, etc. If you’re going to advertise this as Horror then you might wanna actually give us Horror, if it’s Action movies then say that’s what they are. Being truthful and honest goes a long way, which ultimately leads to trust. At the very least have it for yourselves! Cuz if the fans don’t trust anything you say or do going forward, well then good luck with the so-called ‘Dark Universe’!

    • Grimphantom
    • Sulphurdew

      Actually Universal has been upfront about reimagining the classics as action movies. There was an interview around the time Dracula Untold was coming out where they said their horror movies just haven’t been successful.


      “Horror fans ARE NOT fucking morons!” have you read the comment sections under a bloodydisgusting article yet? I mean shit dude, just read your comment.

      • Necro

        I agree

  • Grimphantom
  • Joe

    Where the heck did you come up with $600 million? Did they spend $400 million on marketing? I am super confused here. The mummy costs between 125-200 million. Marketing is not $200 million! The math on the box office take is way off as well. Lets just say that they bring in half of the ticket money. They are at $300 million right now. So that would mean the studio receives $150 million. If the movie costs 200 million (I seriously doubt this) and they spend 100 million on marketing, then they are halfway to getting their money back. Still a bomb, but not nearly as bad as stated.

    • bigval

      I’m not certain but I’m pretty sure I saw an article on BD recently that said The Mummy needed to make $400m worldwide to break even but now it’s being reported as $600m?

      News Corp have been hammering the movie in all of their publications around the world yet it’s doing pretty well internationally so at least enjoy Uncle Rupert having to suck eggs.

  • Lacey Sheridan

    At least the entire article wasn’t a personal attack on Cruise, which is all I’ve been reading. No other actor in Hollywood, with the possible exception of Mel Gibson, comes in for this degree of viciousness – and Gibson made racist and anti-Semitic remarks, and slapped his girlfriend around. Is it jealousy? Has Cruise had so much success for so long it’s considered a sport to tear him down? I’m not that big a fan, although I’ve enjoyed some of his films, but the degree of vituperativeness from writers has gotten to me. Let’s wait and see how much The Mummy finally earns; it seems to be doing extremely well everywhere else in the world.

    • nrkist

      It’s the Scientology angle. He lives off the back of a cult. He is the poster child now. Scientology isn’t anti-Semitic?

      Gibson, talented and gifted as he is, is a loud, old-brigade Australian. It’s embarassing, but he is only hurting himself. Like your beloved, gentle grandfather that can suddenly go on a racist rant.

      Cruise is a different level. There are celebrity Scientologists that reap the rewards of the ‘programs’ which basically is a bunch of money behind them to push them in everything and generate more money. They only want to see what they want to see, which is why they act crazy sometimes. They live in a bubble. Meanwhile they are ambassadors convincing people to sign up for scientology.

      The worst thing about Gibson is that he kinda supports every bad stereotype about Australians. That’s on him though, and doesn’t effect his performances. He’s not part of a machine like Cruise.

      • Lacey Sheridan

        His personal life is his own affair and in Hollywood, Scientology isn’t considered all that unusual; other actors are into far stranger things, not to mention the addicts and abusers. And anyone foolish enough to involve themselves with outfits such as Scientology, much less because an actor espouses it, would find their way to some other weird sect. They’re needy people. But I don’t really think the attacks on Cruise are because of Scientology; I believe these writers use Scientology as the excuse to hurl at Cruise because that’s an acceptable means to do so. The current of sheer glee running through these articles about The Mummy seems much more like envy. That’s usually the price for being King of the Hill.

        And other than Australians, I doubt many people dismissed Gibson’s behavior as “old brigade” or “only hurting himself.” He was ostracized in the industry for a decade. Even so, I don’t see anyone questioning the uber-Catholic Mel about the pederast priests in his church.

        I think the Cruise-bashing is about more than Scientology.

        • nrkist

          Cruise isn’t the foremost ambassador for Scientology? He doesn’t market for Scientology? Everytime he is pushed in a movie, he is working for scientology. Everytime he is in a Scientology ad, he is marketing for Scientology. The two things are intrinsically tied. You are saying weak people will join any cult, so it’s fine. It’s not fine!

          Gibson is a weak comparison. He has damaged himself and suffered the repurcussions of what he said. He isn’t involved in a toxic machine, he just has toxic beliefs.

          • Lacey Sheridan

            To my knowledge, Cruise hasn’t spoken publicly about Scientology for at least a decade, nor is his face used in marketing. It isn’t fine that people join these outfits, although obviously some must find it beneficial; that’s their choice. I’m saying that Cruise isn’t responsible for anyone else joining. We are ALL responsible for no actions other than our own.

    • Boxcar Racer

      While I strongly disagree with Tom Cruise’s religious beliefs, I do find myself enjoying his movies. There is no denying the guy puts 100% into his movies which is something I can respect.

      As for Gibson, yes he made some remarks that were not right but let’s be honest with ourselves here. If you had a mic in your home and we recorded a month of audio, the stuff we would find on the mic would probably be just as bad. Gibson is a well known and talented actor who got caught saying and doing things during a bad time in his life. We can’t all act like self-righteous purists when some time or point in our lives we will say or do something that isn’t right.

      • Lacey Sheridan

        I agree that there was far too much self-righteous condemnation of Gibson; I,too, have said many foolish things. But I’ve noticed that for all the criticism he has gotten, as an uber-Catholic, he’s never been confronted about pederast priests. Nor should he be.

        If Scientology is the reason Cruise gets slimed by the press – and I’m not sure that’s the case – the abuse is truly unwarranted. Cruise is entitled to believe what he wants, and must need, to believe. Perhaps he’s a fool to adhere to such ideas, but he’s certainly not responsible for others joining. That’s their choice.

        My sense is that Scientology has given critics an acceptable reason to trash him; I find it hard to believe that, given the habits of many Hollywood personalities, these writers are so worked about tiny sect like Scientology.

        • Boxcar Racer

          I agree about the Cruise thing. If he is being slammed just because of his beliefs then that is just wrong.

          His criticism should come from his work and not his belief. I always tell people that I do not agree with his beliefs but I don’t judge his films because of that. I judge the films on whether they are simply good or not. Like The Mummy, I was entertained when watching it in theaters and not once was I thinking “Man, Tom Cruise you’re an idiot for believing in Scientology” haha.

          But I think that is just kinda the atmosphere we live in now. It seems to just be about identity politics, which is such an unfortunate thing.

  • johnhelvete

    Deadline article “The Mummy Will Lose 95M, Here’s Why”

  • Kyle Freeman Ortega

    Some people hate the shit out of this movie.

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