The Mummy

Universal’s catalyst to the “Dark Universe” launched 2 weeks back, with a dissapointing opening weekend, 31M in the US, and to be fair, Alex Kurtzman’s Sophomore film was up against D.C.’s box office juggernaut, Wonder Woman, but that does not matter; the weak box office opening in the US is not an accurate barometer for the financial success of Universal’s investment. In fact, it’s not an accurate assesement of ANY studio’s success, which explains the current love story of Americans and the Hollywood formula.

The Mummy’s budget (125M) will not match box office ticket sales in the US. Compare an opening weekend to a bullet leaving a gun; it’s rare the bullet picks up speed after it’s left the chamber. When a film has an explosive opening weekend, those numbers stay strong, but when it is lackluster, it slows down — almost to a sudden hault. As of June 20th, The Mummy made 60M in US ticket sales. Looking at the numbers, the question presents itself; why would Universal spend 125M, if the ticket sales won’t rise to a success? Is there a way to know that will happen. Is the box office a true guessing game? The answer is simple: Universal cares about foreign box office sales rather than domestic, and that is the reason Americans sigh at every trailer prior to their feature presentation.

As of June 18th, the international total for ticket sales is 236M. I will say that again, as of June 18th, the international total for ticket sales is 236M. That is more than double the budget, and not including the American box office numbers. A strong chunk of this success comes from China, raking in 81M, followed by South Korea at 17M. It’s clear Universal and other studios are interested in success via China. Hell, they make everything for the US, so why shouldn’t the US make something for them? Meanwhile, Americans show little support, sit through another CGI adventure, but not before a force feeding of another CGI adventured tailored for China. And the studios have the nerve to proclaim Americans don’t go to the theater anymore.

Tom Cruise received his cut for the picture, not to mention residuals, studio execs receive their percentage, the film does well, China is happy, Americans are fed up, and we continue the process. Over. And over. And over again. The days of wholesome cinema that generates large box office numbers for foreign AND domestic box offices are gone. In the 80’s, Karate Kid would have been considered a large box office summer movie, that generated millions over the globe, and in the end, made Americans feel good about themselves. Today, Americans have to please China, because Chine pleases us.

There isn’t much to say about this movie. The entire film needs recast, it is a dissappointing picture for having an original script by David Koepp (Mission Impossible & Jurrassic Park), and Americans do not want another Universe expanding series (Marvel, DC, Universal). Overall, the picture is worth a redbox viewing at best, and considering this film is definitely all about the benjamins from foreign viewers, paying a dollar to see this is a stretch.

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