Horrifying news for Universal’s Dark Universe franchise has just arrived, as a new report suggests that the setting’s debut film (The Mummy) could lose the studio as much as $95M.
Deadline is reporting that if The Mummy ends its run with a $375M total at the global box office – which it looks like it might based on current box office trends – and performs post-release to their expectations, then the film will end up $95M in the red. This is in spite of the fact that the movie’s global opening was the biggest ever for any Tom Cruise-led feature, as the movie seems to be a pretty front-loaded release internationally and is set to take a hit with the arrival of Transformers: The Last Knight this week. Part of the problem lies in the alleged advertising and distribution budget for the film, a rather insane $150M push worldwide.
The only silver lining to this scorching news is that Deadline’s estimate revolves around their expectations of what the movie’s production budget was – $195M as opposed to the studio-released figure of $125M. If the smaller figure is accurate and Universal were able to write off a lot of those expenses, then the loss would be a more manageable $25M, presuming that the film doesn’t manage to perform better than $375M globally. In addition, there’s also another estimate that the movie’s official “break-even” point is $450M, which would further reduce Universal’s overall losses. Still, that’s pretty cold comfort when it comes to wanting to start something as ambitious as a shared universe – perhaps Universal could turn their Dark Universe around, but for now, it’s looking like The Mummy is going to be buried under a sarcophagus of expenses.
The Mummy is in theaters now. The movie’s cast includes Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, and Javier Botet. Presuming that Universal continues with the Dark Universe, the next installment will be The Bride of Frankenstein, which will be released on February 14, 2019. Other projects that are in development for the setting include reboots of Van Helsing, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Wolf Man, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.