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If you saw The Mummy this weekend in the U.S. you may be part of a smaller group than the studio hoped, as domestically Tom Cruise's brand new movie only brought in $32.2 million. Because The Mummy is the first movie that Universal produced as part of its recently announced Dark Universe, this might seem like bad news. It's being covered as bad news in a lot of places, but worldwide, the numbers tell a very different story. Which is why you shouldn't be too stressed out about the future of the Dark Universe.
The Mummy didn't just launch in the U.S. this weekend; it also launched in 63 other countries worldwide. And while it brought in an OK but unexceptional $32.2 million domestically, it also raked in $141.8 million elsewhere. Which means that in reality, The Mummy made $174 million dollars this weekend. In China alone, The Mummy made $52.2 million, per Deadline. That's not a bad intake, at all, and it in fact is Tom Cruise's biggest opening worldwide to date.
Of course, like plenty of big budget features, The Mummy was rather costly to produce. It took Universal $125 million to make the Tom Cruise-starrer (and it should be noted that's not even that costly compared to some big budget movies). That's not counting all of the money the studio spent advertising the movie. As a result, none of these figures should be taken as an incredible win. Still, it's a very good sign that The Mummy has already made more than the cost of the flick worldwide. Although the box office definitely wanes in the weeks after a film is released, there's still going to be more money made in the weeks to come.
A lot of people are focusing on the fact that The Mummy didn't do super well in the United States, and in some ways, that makes sense. The studio likes domestic revenue because it usually keeps a higher percentage of it. It also just looks better from an optics perspective. There are plenty of movie franchises, however, that do OK domestically but pull in a ton of money worldwide. If Universal ends up making money off of this film--and it looks like the studio has a good chance of doing so--we don't really need to be super concerned about where the rest of the franchise is going. Sometimes the first effort in a new franchise isn't perfect, but audiences in the U.S. could warm up on the Dark Universe, too.
Universal already has a fairly lengthy plan for its Dark Universe and has signed on some A-list names to play popular cinematic characters. Javier Bardem will play Frankenstein's monster, Johnny Depp is signed on as the Invisible Man, and we've already seen Russell Crowe and Tom Cruise as major characters. Just last week, Universal also decided that The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera and Dracula will join the other already-announced characters, including Frankenstein's monster, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Van Helsing. Even if the box office doesn't end up being great in the U.S., it doesn't look like it's going to slow Universal down in terms of making more of these movies. There's a lot of infrastructure already in place, and people worldwide at least seem invested in seeing how the concepts pan out. Plus, Americans love seeing good movies. So if Universal can pull together some incredible movies in the future, the box office here could eventually shine brighter, too. We'll keep you posted every step of the way.