After a highly successful opening that included rave reviews and a $103 million bow, “Wonder Woman” is expected to stay on top of the box office this weekend — which is bad news for this weekend’s big new release, Universal’s “The Mummy,” starring Tom Cruise.
While previous DC titles like “Suicide Squad” suffered second-weekend drop-offs of more than 65 percent, analysts expect the warm reception for “Wonder Woman” to help it keep its drop-off to between 50-55 percent. This means “The Mummy” will have to try to launch Universal’s “Dark Universe” series in the face of stiff counter-programming. Independent trackers have “Mummy” finishing second at the box office this weekend with $35-40 million, with Universal also projecting an opening in that range.
An individual with knowledge of the film told TheWrap it has a budget of $160 million, while other reports put the film’s price tag at $125 million. Either way, a domestic opening of under $50 million wouldn’t be a good start for”Dark Universe,” which will feature modernized versions of Universal’s classic monster movie icons like Frankenstein and the Invisible Man.
The good news for “The Mummy” is that the overseas outlook is looking much brighter, as the film’s leading man, Tom Cruise, is still a major draw for foreign audiences. The film opened in Korea on Tuesday to coincide with the country’s Memorial Day and grossed $6.6 million. That’s the biggest opening day ever in that market. By comparison, “Wonder Woman” grossed $1.2 million when it opened last Wednesday to coincide with the country’s end-of-month Cultural Day.[powergridprofile powerrank=”3011” node=”460427” type=”project” path=”http://powergrid.thewrap.com/project/mummy-2017” title=”The Mummy (2017)” image=”the_mummy.jpg”]
If the domestic/overseas ratio is wide for “The Mummy,” it would be consistent with Cruise’s recent box office performance. “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” grossed $487.6 million internationally, good for 71 percent of the film’s $682.7 global come. “Edge of Tomorrow” got 73 percent of its global cume from overseas, totaling $270.3 million. Universal has also found success with its franchises outside the U.S. as well, as it now has three of the six films that have grossed $1 billion internationally: “Jurassic World,” “Furious 7,” and most recently, “The Fate of the Furious.”
Even if “The Mummy” underperforms, it’s not necessarily a severe blow to “Dark Universe.” The next film in the cinematic universe currently slated for release is “Bride of Frankenstein.” That film is set for a Valentine’s Day 2019 release, giving the studio time to retool their long-term plans if necessary. Angelina Jolie and Javier Bardem are attached to star in that film, with “Beauty and the Beast” filmmaker Bill Condon directing from a script by “Jurassic Park” scribe David Koepp.
“Dark Universe” creative head and “Mummy” director Alex Kurtzman also revealed in an interview with Fandom that there are plans for films using Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Along with Cruise, “The Mummy” stars Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet, the film’s titular villain. The film also stars Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, the head of the mysterious organization Prodigium. This group will be the link connecting the “Dark Universe” films, as its mission is to track and defeat evil forces that seek to destroy humanity.
“The Mummy” is directed by Kurtzman, who is co-producing with Sean Daniel, Sarah Bradshaw, and “Fast & Furious” writer Chris Morgan. It is written by Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman. Reviews will be released mid-week.