The Mummy Postmortem: What Happened?

It’s inevitable that whenever a film comes out and is nowhere near as successful as it should have been — be it critically or financially — that outlets will be sniffing around the carnage to see where it all went wrong. The Mummy is in an interesting place. Critically, it was absolutely demolished, and domestically, the film had an incredibly disappointing box office haul. However, on the foreign front, the film has done pretty darn well — doing so well, in fact, that they managed to secure the record of highest grossing worldwide opening for a Tom Cruise movie.

That being said, with those initial numbers now in, there’s only one direction for the movie to go in: down.

So where did it go wrong? Well, the buck apparently stops at Tom Cruise himself. According to Variety, Cruise had an excessive amount of control on the flick.

The outlet stated:

“Several sources close to the production say that Cruise exerted nearly complete creative oversight on The Mummy, essentially wearing all the hats and dictating even the smallest decisions on the set.”

This all seems to stretch back to his contract. We remember when Cruise was first officially signed on to the project, and it was more than a little surprising. Why would a mega-star like Tom Cruise join a film like The Mummy? There had to be a very good reason. It turns out that may very well have to do with whatever his contract entailed.

According to sources, Cruise was given a lot of control in pretty much every stage of filmmaking, from script approval all the way to post-production. He also had a hand in when the film was set to be released — in this case, in the thick of the summer season, right after Wonder Woman (oops). Between the film’s high production cost of around $190 million, and the $100 million or so to market the film, it’ll need to make quite a bit more in order to just break even.

However, that’s just the buzz from Variety. Universal themselves had only positive things to say, stating:

“Tom approaches every project with a level of commitment and dedication that is unmatched by most working in our business today. He has been a true partner and creative collaborator, and his goal with any project he works on is to provide audiences with a truly cinematic moviegoing experience.”

Now, we have to take these statements with a grain of salt, as you’ll rarely get an instance of a studio or actor slinging mud at one another. At the end of the day, they’re all in the business, and the last thing you want to do is burn any bridges. If the report from Variety is to be believed, it may be increasingly difficult for Cruise to assert his power in the future. 

In this currentage of franchise-driven blockbusters, the actors attached to them have become less and less important. What gets butts in seats is the name of the brand, not the name headlining the flick. This movie’s critical reception and domestic performance won’t really do much to help give Cruise power in the future.

All negatives aside, we can’t really hate on Cruise too much. At the end of the day, director Kurtzman was a relative novice at the directing gig, and the report even suggested that the filmmaker had a hard time adjusting to the scope of the project. It even went on to say it more like Cruise was the real director, as he was “often dictating the major action sequences and micro-managing the production, according to sources.”

All in all, it sounds more to us like it was less about Cruise being too much of a hog, and more of him having to step up to get the project where it needed to be.

What do you think? Have you had a chance to check out The Mummy? If so, what were your problems with it? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Variety

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