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It was heralded as the film to launch a cinematic universe, but Universal’s The Mummy got off to an underwhelming start at the US box office over the weekend. Last week’s reigning champ, Wonder Woman, dropped a miniscule 45% after its record breaking $103m debut, to take its domestic tally to $205m after just ten days of release, but the performance of the Tom Cruise vehicle is just as big of a box-office talking point.
Budgeted at $125m, confidence in The Mummy appeared to be high, what with the Dark Universe piggy-backing off its launch, after the announcement that Johnny Depp would be The Invisible Man, Russell Crowe will become Dr. Jekyll, and Javier Bardem would have electricity soaring through his undead body as Frankenstein’s Monster.
However, this bow even doesn’t match any of the opening weekends of the Brendan Fraserverse that Universal were attempting to reboot, including the much derided third installment Tomb of the Dragon Empire, which opened with $40m in 2008.
All is not lost though, because like all good movie monsters, there could still be life in this franchise yet. It’s in the increasingly important overseas box-office market that The Mummy appears to have been seen as a more valuable treasure. Delivering an estimated $141m, the largest of Tom Cruise’s career, a sum that included a record-breaking opening day in South Korea of $17.8m, Universal will be hoping that the global cume will push The Mummy towards a total that will justify their faith in setting up the Dark Universe.
It’s a world that will expand on February 14th 2019, when the Bill Condon directed Bride of Frankenstein hits cinemas. Long before then we’ll know whether this domestic disappointment has had any bearing on the shape of things to come.
Box office statistics courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.
Image: Universal Pictures