Mummy Flops; Summer Suck-O-Meter Continues Climb
By John Hamann
June 11, 2017
Over the weekend, Wonder Woman continued going strong, pulling in a fantastic second weekend gross of $57.2 million. That gives the Gal Godot starmaker a drop of only 45%. When your film opens beyond $100 million, and drops less than 50% in the follow-up weekend without a holiday Monday, you certainly have something to celebrate. The aforementioned Iron Man dropped 48% in weekend two, but Iron Man 2, with a $123 million opening, fell 59%. Captain America: Winter Soldier opened to $95 million and fell 57%. Deadpool fell 57% in its second weekend, but it opened on a holiday weekend. This is a strong hold for Wonder Woman and a testament to its 92% fresh rating and A Cinemascore. The gross now for the DC Comics super-flick has reached $205 million after only ten days of release. Warner Bros. picked the right weekend to open Wonder Woman, and the studio gets lucky that The Mummy is a turd, opening the gates wide for a big run. Overseas, the tally has reached $230 million, which means the $149 million spent is going to be one of the better investments of the year so far.
The Mummy is second this weekend, and that is just about where the good news ends for the Tom Cruise flick. Thursday preview amounts of $2.7 million indicated there was no big "want to see" factor (for a reference, see the $11 million Wonder Woman earned rom previews), which, combined with the Friday gross, came in at a lackadaisical $12 million. That's ahead of Edge of Tomorrow's $10.6 million, but not by much, and when Edge opened to low numbers, analysts treated it like the sky was literally falling. Edge of Tomorrow (or Live. Die. Repeat.) was different than The Mummy, as it was a really good film with a strong marketing campaign, but its opening weekend was low at $28.8 million. That debut gave us Cruise's threshold as an opening weekend draw. His films are not apt to open beyond $40 million, but if they are any good, legs are sure to follow, like Edge of Tomorrow, Rogue Nation and Collateral. Put Cruise in a bad movie however, and you now have serious problems.
The big wild card with Cruise, though, is overseas sales. He is worldwide star, and the Chinese love him. His last five films have earned significantly more overseas - including TWO Jack Reacher films that would have been flops had the overseas dollars not bailed him out. Would the same be true for The Mummy?
The weekend total for The Mummy came in at bad $32.2 million, a score I would normally say is disastrous considering the $125 million budget. Reviews are terrible at 17% fresh, but worse at 8% when looking at the "top critics" listed at the site. The Cinemascore is also terrible, as a summer blockbuster is supposed to score much better than the B- that The Mummy earned. As I said earlier, if Universal wanted to make an opening weekend play with the big comic book boys, Tom Cruise was the wrong choice. A good example is War of the Worlds – a Steven Spielberg remake of a well known classic, with big effects that were included in the marketing, and decent reviews (75% fresh). It opened to $64 million, lower than films like World War Z ($66 million) and The Day After Tomorrow ($68 million). Cruise splits the audience like Trump does – love him or hate him, without a lot of middle ground, until something really stupid happens (like The Mummy) and then we all just pile on.