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By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter
The Mummy is unraveling at the North American box office in a blow for Tom Cruise and Universal’s new Dark Universe of interconnected monster movies.
Plagued by withering reviews and a B-minus CinemaScore from audiences, the summer event film grossed $12 million Friday from 4,035 theaters for a $30 million weekend. That’s behind any of the openings for the Mummy films starring Brendan Fraser, as well as for spin-off The Scorpion King. Unlike those movies, the reboot decided to fashion itself as an action pic set in modern times.
The Mummy has been relegated to second place behind box-office hit Wonder Woman, now in its second weekend. Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, notched a $54 million-plus weekend, a drop of less than 47 percent. That’s one of the lowest drops ever for a superhero tentpole.
Wonder Woman, boasting a domestic total of $163.6 million through Friday, is expected to jump the $200 million mark on Sunday, its 10th day in release. The movie is a much-needed win for Warner Bros.’s DC Extended Universe of superhero titles.
Conversely, The Mummy, costing $125 million to make after rebates, is a rough start for Universal’s monsters-themed Dark Universe.
One wild card is the international box office, where Cruise still enjoys major star status. The Mummy is headed for a projected foreign debut of $139 million from 63 markets, including China. That would represent Cruise’s top foreign opening to date. The $125 million film opened to $19 million at the Chinese box office on Friday, a best for Cruise, for a projected weekend debut of $52 million in the Middle Kingdom.
Directed by Alex Kurtzman, the story follows an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) who is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, threatening mankind. Cruise plays the man who discovers the tomb of Ahmanet and unleashes her powers. Russell Crowe and Annabella Wallis also star.
Two other movies from a pair of indie distributors also opened nationwide this weekend: A24’s apocalyptic horror film It Comes at Night and Bleecker Street’s drama Megan Leavey, starring Kate Mara as a young Marine fighting in Iraq with her bomb-sniffing combat dog.
It Comes at Night, opening in 2,500 theaters, is expected to take in a solid $6 million for the weekend from 2,253 theaters despite a D CinemaScore. Directed by Trey Edward Shults (Krisha), the $5 million film stars Joel Edgerton as a man trying to protect his family from an unnatural threat, only to find his plan go awry upon the arrival of another desperate family.
Meagan Leavey, nabbing an A CinemaScore, is projected to debut in the $4 million range from 1,956 cinemas, ahead of expectations.