Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 4, 2008
Perhaps this Mummy should have stayed buriedKim Hollis: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opened to $40.5 million in 3,795 playdates. What should Universal think of this result?
Pete Kilmer: It would be a terrific opening if it debuted any other summer. Dark Knight shattered that line of thinking. And it's going to take awhile for studios to realize that the Dark Knight opening is not something they can expect. I think they should be pleased.
David Mumpower: I am not certain Universal is disappointed by this result, but they should be. This is the worst opening of the three actual Mummy movies (not counting The Scorpion King), but it's another aspect I find troubling. The Mummy sold about 8.5 million tickets during its opening weekend in 1999. The Mummy Returns sold a whopping 12 million over its first three days. The latest Mummy has only sold about 6 million tickets. Not only has it lost half of its audience over the past seven years, but even The Scorpion King sold 6.2 million tickets, more than this has managed. The Mummy franchise looks to be done, at least domestically. The good news about setting the film in China with Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh co-starring is that international grosses should save it.
Reagen Sulewski: I imagine they feel like they got away with one, considering they'd seen the dailies. This film rode the express bus to Generic Town, and if it were a TV show, would have been noted for a triple shark jump (the Cousin Oliver, cast member switch and the "special location"). It was a lazy, cynical cash grab, and they just barely made it worth it.
David Mumpower: So, you're saying they pulled a Rush Hour 3?
Reagen Sulewski: More or less. There was apparently still some residual goodwill from the other movies, because that's the only real way I can explain this.
James Ruccio: The fact that they opened this in August instead of the beginning of May tells me everything I think I need to know about what the studio thought of Mummy 3. What I don't get is that this didn't look any worse than the first two. So, either the studio lost complete confidence or they figured the trend for these movies was no longer viable. If it's the latter, I don't get it. The first two movies were great summer action flicks. This looked no different. I was right in the prime demo for the first two movies and thought the commercials for this looked fine. (Then again...I didn't go to Mummy 3 yet so maybe I'm disproving any point I'm trying to make, whatever it is). All I know is that I'm disappointed in the weekend total if it prevents them from making another.
Brandon Scott: Considering that it almost matched The Dark Knight in per venue average, it's a decent result. But considering it has a reported budget of $145 million, it will have a very tough time reaching that number domestically. This is a mixed bag overall and while Universal will put this in the spin cycle calling it a solid number, it has to be a bit of a downer for them.
Scott Lumley: They can be happy about that result, but it means squat. This didn't even take number one at the box office and they only got about 28% of their costs back, if that. This one has a long way to go before it makes any money, so $40.5 million is hardly any reason to break out the champagne.