What ‘The Mummy’s’ Cursed Domestic Opening Means for Tom Cruise’s Movie Star Appeal

“You certainly can’t blame his work ethic,” Paul Dergarabedian of comScore told TheWrap of Cruise

Tom Cruise’s “The Mummy” seriously underperformed at the domestic box office this weekend, delivering just $31.6 million from over 4,000 locations.

It’s a rare miss for the 54-year-old star, who has a reported 16 films to his name that have grossed over $100 million prior to last week’s release of the flagship movie for a hopeful Universal franchise.

Take the misfortunes of his Hollywood colleague Johnny Depp, who suffered five consecutive misfires (namely “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Black Mass” “Mortdecai,” “Transcendence” and “The Lone Ranger” before this summer’s rebound with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

“You certainly can’t blame his [Cruise’s] work ethic,” Paul Dergarabedian of comScore told TheWrap of the “Top Gun” star, who covers the map for photo calls, premieres, chat-show stints and the like — and does it with a smile. “He’s a master marketer with boundless energy and experience.”

Although Cruise is still an international draw, domestically audiences don’t care much for star power in the era of superhero movies like “Wonder Woman” offering new talent and a fresh take on the genre. But as one of our last remaining movie stars, what does “The Mummy” say about Cruise’s legacy?

“Nothing, thanks to his international appeal,” one top talent agent told TheWrap, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

More name stars are moving to movies on TV and streaming platforms, with A-list talent such as Brad Pitt making films for Netflix and others like Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman signing on to more prestige television shows like “True Detective” and “Big Little Lies.”

An individual with knowledge of the film has told TheWrap that “The Mummy” cost $160 million before P&A and will need to gross $375 million worldwide to stay out of the red. With this opening, “The Mummy” will need a big international haul to hit that target.

The film was savaged by critics after the mid-week embargo broke, handing it one of the lowest Rotten Tomatoes scores of the summer with 17 percent. Much like “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the bad reviews have kept audiences away. But unlike “Pirates,” those who did go see the film, had mixed reactions, as “The Mummy” got a B- on CinemaScore, a market research firm that surveys audiences to rate their viewing experiences.

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