It was supposed to be the all-star kick-off to a brand new shared universe, “a new world of gods and monsters,” but that woman persisted at being the top of the domestic box office… Yes, Wonder Woman ruined The Mummy‘s opening weekend by holding on to the number one slot, and making $25 million more than the Tom Cruise action/horror flick. So how does this affect Universal Studios‘ plans for that Dark Universe they’ve been so keen on? Has The Mummy’s less than stellar opening dissuaded them from their monster-verse, or will they carry on with other films in the series?
That’s the question being asked today in power centres all over Hollywood, and online. “The Dark Universe is a continuation of a love affair the studio has had with its classic monsters. It is a Valentine to the genre that is in our DNA,” Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou told The Hollywood Reporter. The message: The are planning to carry on…
Indeed, the love affair will continue with a variety of other titles in some form of production, among them an Invisible Man movie starring Johnny Depp, a possible Wolfman with Dwayne Johnson, and Frankenstein featuring Javier Bardem as the Creature. For right now though, the only other Dark Universe film on the schedule is Bill Condon‘s remake of Bride of Frankenstein, which right now has saved the date of Valentine’s Day 2019 for release. So it’s not like there are six more movies already in the pipe that Universal has gambled on, but despite The Mummy’s $32 million opening, and the fact of it’s $125 million budget, box office analysts aren’t at all pessimistic about the film not making money.
“If every potential universe banked its future on North American returns only, there may arguably be no movies with greater than a ‘2’ after their title given this current climate,” said Paul Dergarabedian of comScore. “Thankfully for the Dark Universe and other big brands, the international component is the lifeline to a continued cinematic future and a creates a valid justification for further creative and monetary investment.”
Indeed, The Mummy has so far made $174 million at the worldwide box office after opening in most global territories, including China, within a couple of days of the North American release date. So The Mummy looks good to at least break even, if not outright turn a profit, but one analyst advices caution for Universal going forward. “I don’t think Universal’s Dark Universe will collapse because of The Mummy underperforming, but it should make the studio think twice about pumping so much money into their vastly expanding universe,” said Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. “There will be a lot riding on Bride of Frankenstein. And when I say a lot, I mean everything.”
Time will tell… In the meantime, The Mummy is presently in theatres everywhere.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter