Mummy Flops; Summer Suck-O-Meter Continues Climb
By John Hamann
June 11, 2017
As I write this, Variety's Owen Gleiberman has posted an article titled "Tom Cruise: A Star in Slow Motion Career Meltdown." First, despite all my consternation above, and thanks to overseas audiences' connection with Tom Cruise, The Mummy is going to be okay financially at the end of the day. It is likely not going to launch a franchise, but as finances go it might be okay. It earned $141 million overseas this weekend, a strong number. Universal will pull in $300 million overseas and another $75 million on the domestic side, potentially leaving the studio with a push theatrically.
Combined, the two Jack Reacher films made Paramount money at some point, and Rogue Nation made money theatrically. Then, for me personally, Live Die Repeat is one of the best films ever made. It would be a desert island movie for me, one I can watch over and over. Yes, regular readers will know I have a huge crush on Emily Blunt, but Edge of Tomorrow doesn't work without someone like Tom Cruise, as the warts and all movie star gets his comeuppance day after day after day. Oddly enough, that was likely the last Tom Cruise movie to lose money, but is the film that made me see Rogue Nation in theaters and the Jack Reacher films on demand. In 20 years, people will look back on Edge of Tomorrow and call it one of the best films of the first two decades of this millennia. To me, that is not the sign of a star in a "slow motion career meltdown." I hope the Tom Cruise/Doug Liman mashup works again soon, in American Made, due out in September.
Captain Underpants is third, as last weekend's smaller-but-still-successful "other" opener, tries to find some traction in weekend two. The animated Fox release earned $12.3 million and falls 48% compared to opening weekend – which demonstrates the awesome hold by Wonder Woman. The DC Comics film opened with about $78 million more than the good Captain over opening weekend, but in terms of a percentage hold, they are neck and neck in weekend 2. The bigger they are, the harder they fall mantra is true, which again shows the resolve of the wondrous woman. Captain Underpants, a DreamWorks Animation release distributed by Fox, cost a pittance compared to other DWA titles, coming in at $36 million compared to The Croods at $135 million. Captain Underpants has a domestic total at $44.6 million, but I still think that this dog can bark, and it can eke out a win if the kids stay interested.
The real star in career slow motion meltdown is Johnny Depp, as Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, as it earns only $10.7 million and falls 52%. The good news for Pirates 5 is that the hold this weekend is better than the embarrassing 65% drop it took last weekend. The bad news is that the domestic gross has only risen to $135.8 million against a budget of $230 million. That budget put this one in an early position to fail, and like Tom Cruise, this is working overseas, as it almost crosses the $400 million mark overseas this weekend.