Even With Tom Cruise, ‘The Mummy’ Might Get Buried by ‘Wonder Woman’

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Few classic monster movie franchises have been more enduring than “The Mummy.” From the venerable Boris Karloff in the starring role, to more contemporary treatments like the 1999 version with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, “The Mummy” has always found its audience.

The latest iteration of “The Mummy” opens today in the United States at 4,034 theaters. Boasting a $125 million budget, and starring Tom Cruise, the movie has spectacular special effects as Universal tries to position the film to help reboot other monster-themed flicks.

What the movie doesn’t have is critical acclaim. “The Mummy” scored just 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, in stark contrast to the 93% “Wonder Woman” received, earning the female superhero yarn a “certified fresh” rating.

Among the unkindest cuts on Rotten Tomatoes about “The Mummy’’ was that it should have stay buried. Deadline Hollywood was no less forgiving, saying the film “is bound to be another case of audience’s fatigue with dusty old summer franchises.”

“The Mummy” is counting on international sales for its success. Deadline Hollywood said some industry watchers believe the movie’s foreign market could go as high as $150 million, with China projected to gross as much as $50 million. “The Mummy” opened with a take of $6.6 million in South Korea, the biggest opening ever in that territory. Deadline Hollywood said the movie is opening in 63 territories and those foreign markets can boost the movie’s take to up to $177 million.

Cruise’s appeal in China also bodes well for “The Mummy.” Deadline Hollywood said Cruise had two recent hits in that country: “Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation” ($136 million) and “Edge of Tomorrow” ($66 million).

The movie’s overseas roll-out was hampered by the delay of its premier in the United Kingdom because of the terrorist attack in Manchester.

The biggest challenge, foreign and domestic, for “The Mummy” is battling “Wonder Woman” in the box office trenches. The Rotten Tomatoes rating of the tale of female superhero Diana Prince put the film ahead of nearly all other superhero flicks from DC and helped create positive buzz for the movie ahead of its release.

“Wonder Woman,” a Warner Bros. release, pulled in $100.5 million in its weekend debut, becoming the biggest blockbuster ever directed by a woman, in this case Patty Jenkins.

Also scheduled for release today are “It Comes at Night,” “Megan Leavey,” “Beatriz at Dinner” and “My Cousin Rachel.”