Universal is daring to go where superheroes successfully tread these days, trying to fashion a connected cinematic universe out of its classic monsters, including the Mummy, the Invisible Man and Mr. Hyde.
Universal's "The Mummy" looked it age, selling a relatively feeble $32.2 million in tickets in its debut weekend. Almost 18 years ago, that same film debuted at $43 million. He also had to honor previous versions of the story including a more successful run with Brendan Fraser as well as come up with an original story that can stand on its own. However, the worldwide box office will keep it from being buried alive.
It started on Friday when news hit that the movie opened in China (perhaps the most important worldwide market) on Thursday with an $18.7 million take, the biggest opening day ever there for a Tom Cruisemovie. It is overseas where he gets most of his mojo, at least at the box office.
Universal's "The Mummy", meanwhile is counting on a strong overseas total to make up for less impressive domestic earnings.
In the States, it was a good weekend for Wonder Woman, as the DC solo flick clobbered the undead upstart.
The bad news is that the film merely met expectations at home.
The Patty Jenkins-directed "Wonder Woman", already the highest-grossing moviedirected by a woman and by far the most successful superhero movie featuring a female title character, benefited from terrific word of mouth and unprecedented critical acclaim for Time Warner's superhero universe. That includes knocking of the newcomer Mummy on the list by almost $25 million, which is impressive, to say the least. Given that the budget was a teeny-tiny $5 million, this is a fine start, and the film should have a Friday-to-Sunday total of $6.8 million. According to Exhibitor Relations, Wonder Woman has collected $57 million in the second week, the film stands with total $205 million domestic box office collection. Playing on 1,956 screens, the film made just $3.7 million and finished in the #8 spot. It sold a modest $6 million in tickets in its debut. That means that The Mummy will probably still make some money for the studio, even if it is going to die a painful death at the domestic box office.