Things are not looking great for Universal's The Mummy. The movie, which stars Tom Cruise and wound up being his biggest global opening ever ($169.3 million), is set to lose a whole lot of money for the studio, which is the absolute last thing they were hoping for. That usually goes without saying, but since The Mummy was intended to be a launching pad for Dark Universe, their shared monster movie universe, this is extra bad. So how bad is it? Well, the movie could lose as much as $95 million, when all is said and done.
According to Deadline, after consulting with a number of film finance sources, The Mummy comes with an estimated price tag of $345 million, which factors in the production budget and global marketing. Their estimates have the movie topping out at $375 million worldwide, with only $75 million coming domestically, which is the main problem here. As Deadline points out, foreign markets may spend big to see some of these movies, but not all of that money winds up in Universal's pockets. According to them, only about 25 percent of revenue from Chinese box office receipts winds up back with the studio. Here is how Deadline breaks down how The Mummy will wind up losing an estimated $95 million.
"Total revenue for Mummy across all streams including theatrical rental, net global TV and home entertainment is estimated at $250M, per Deadline sources. Compare this to Rogue Nation's $546.4M which yielded an estimated $110M profit. Subtract $345M costs from $250M total monies, and Mummy loses $95M. Breaking down Mummy's revenue, theatrical global rentals are figured at $146M, domestic pay/network TV net at $17M, global home entertainment net at $52M (versus Rogue Nation's $84M net), and foreign TV net at $35M (vs. Rogue Nation's $74M)."
That is a very nice breakdown that shows exactly where the money is coming from for The Mummy, and exactly how much of it is coming in. What is especially rough here is that this factors in all possible revenue streams. A lot of times when talking about losses or gains when it comes to movies, only box office is factored in. In some cases merchandising can help out quite a bit, but it doesn't seem like those Ahmanet POP figures are flying off the shelves at Hot Topic right now. So Universal is probably just going to heave while eating it on this one.
There is an awful lot of potential blame to go around for The Mummy's failures. One will quickly point you to the lashing that critics gave it, with the movie currently sitting at a dismal 16 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is 43, which is pretty awful. So, while some people enjoyed the movie, this isn't a Transformers situation where the franchise proves to be critic proof. Speaking of Transformers, with the release of Transformers: The Last Knight sure to dominate foreign markets this weekend, The Mummy isn't likely to find any room in a crowded weekend at the box office. It was also recently reported that there were many on set and behind-the-scenes issues during production, with Tom Cruise having an insane amount of creative control and first-time director Alex Kurtzman being out of his depth.
This all means that Dark Universe is off to a very rocky start. However, even with the heavy potential losses, and we do need to note that, even though this is well researched, these numbers aren't final and Universal could find a way to lose less money on The Mummy, the studio's plans will probably be carrying forward. Certainly, they will learn a lesson or two from this disaster, but with Bill Condon already set to helm The Bride of Frankenstein and Javier Bardem (Frankenstein) and Johnny Depp (The Invisible Man) already signed on, this train has left the station. With some course correction, Dark Universe could still prove to be worthwhile for Universal. Just with one very, very expensive mistake to kick things off.