Tom Cruise might have ruled this year’s box office following his triumphantly successful sequel Top Gun: Maverick, but a far more surprising twist of events has occurred concerning one of the star’s worst-reviewed efforts. International audiences are breathing new life into the desiccated cadaver of Universal’s The Mummy, the “first” movie in the aborted attempt to set up a shared universe of the studio’s Universal Monsters properties. The film is also, arguably, the least-liked theatrical effort of Cruise’s career.
The Mummy was supposed to set the stage for an entire shared “Dark Universe” that would feature updated reimaginings of the iconic Horror characters that made Universal the powerhouse genre leader in the mid-20th century. New versions of The Wolfman, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Bride of Frankenstein, and even Dracula were meant to hit screens. Unfortunately for the studios, the hugely underwhelming Mummy outing tanked at the box office, taking in roughly half as much as its budget in the domestic market, and even earning Cruise a Golden Raspberry for his acting efforts.
Far from setting the stage for the planned shared universe, the film loudly shut the door for the entire franchise, with Universal beating a rapid path back to standalone efforts in the wake of the critical failure. WGTC’s own review called the movie “a head-spinning, simplistically unsophisticated mess from definiteness fight choreography to inexplicable villain motivations.”
But, perhaps taking a cue from the undead, The Mummy is back. Or at least it’s getting a look-see by fans in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. According to Flix Patrol, The Mummy has found a new lease on the afterlife, and is performing well and even hitting the top ten in countries as diverse as Kenya, Lithuania, Norway, and Trinidad and Tobago. And while this probably won’t open a new portal to the Dark Universe, or get fans any closer to seeing that Mr. Hyde film the post-credits scene promised, it is another reminder that Tom Cruise rarely ends up dead and buried.