Home Entertainment Universal’s Dark Universe is doing rather well thanks to China

Universal’s Dark Universe is doing rather well thanks to China

2 min read

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s become abundantly clear that America is no longer the great leader it used to be. I’m not even talking about the politics of the country being run by petulant man-child though. In the past, America was not just the biggest producer but also the unrivalled largest consumer of blockbuster movies. As such, domestic box office performance, or lack thereof, could make or break a movie.

That is no longer the case though, and ever more frequently – as is the same for so many other products – a movie’s success is now made in China. As the second largest filmgoing audience on the planet, the Middle Kingdom has rapidly become a key market for Hollywood studios to try to tap into. And The Mummy can thank its dusty gods for that.

The first of Universal’s new Dark Universe that looks to reboot their classic lineup of movie monsters and stick them in a shared cinematic universe, the Tom Cruise led action adventure was trashed by critics (us included). With just a $30 million take it couldn’t dethrone Wonder Woman on its opening weekend, and then promptly fell out of the top 10 chart in just four weeks. All in all, its domestic total stands at just a hair over $80 million, which is a complete failure when matched up against its $125 million production budget (and that’s excluding advertising costs).

But while The Mummy was getting buried in America, it was wrapping up audiences in other locations. Most notably in China, where unlike its lukewarm US opening weekend, it debuted to a very impressive $51 million. It’s since gone on to make a rather lucrative $91.7 million, the largest earning for The Mummy from any market across the world by far. That total, combined with another noticeable $27 million from South Korea, has helped The Mummy to go past that magical “you’re probably getting a sequel” $400 million mark, which means that the Dark Universe is actually off to a good start no matter what you may think of the actual movie.

This is almost exactly what played out a few years ago for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim (well, except for the fact that most people actually liked Pacific Rim) which only earned back about half its $190 million production budget domestically. It was an $111 million effort from China that also pushed it to $411 million globally, giving the green light for its upcoming sequel.

As for the Dark Universe, the second instalment in this fledgeling franchise is supposed to be the Bill Condon directed Bride of Frankenstein. Universal has been after Angelina Jolie to headline the film for a long time, without any official confirmation. Maybe now that the first entry in the franchise is technically a success, she will finally commit so that they can hit that advertised February 2019 release date. Still no word yet on when we’ll be getting the announced movies for The Invisible Man (with Johnny Depp), Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Last Updated: September 5, 2017


  1. Gavin Mannion

    September 5, 2017 at 07:53

    I’ve not seen the movie yet but I am happy that the American audience is no longer the be all and end all of entertainment.

    The recent change in American culture (or at least the recent tipping point) has made the country the pariah of the Western world so them not actually deciding our morals for us via entertainment can only be a good thing.


    • miaau

      September 5, 2017 at 08:23

      Yes, I hope so too.


    • Original Heretic

      September 5, 2017 at 09:16

      What’s happening in America is just a recent thing.


      • Gavin Mannion

        September 5, 2017 at 09:40

        not even close..


        • Original Heretic

          September 5, 2017 at 09:45

          Ugh, bonehead me…
          I left the word “not” out.
          I meant to say it’s NOT a recent thing.

          I’ll go put myself in the corner now.


          • Gavin Mannion

            September 5, 2017 at 10:46

            lol I did think that was a possibility

  2. Ir0nseraph

    September 5, 2017 at 08:15

    The mummy remake was pretty bad, but I actually kinda relieved a squeal is coming thanks to that ending, I hate bad movies but movies without a proper ending is my kryptonite. 🙂


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 5, 2017 at 08:26

    Hopefully they learn from their mistakes. He said with naive optimism.


  4. For the Emperor!

    September 5, 2017 at 08:29

    This movie just turned into a Mission Impossible movie with Mummies. The darn titular character hardly featured! It was more “Tom Cruise doing Tom Cruise things” than a Mummy movie. It wasn’t THAT bad as a movie itself, but it was THAT bad as a supposed Mummy movie.


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      September 5, 2017 at 08:47

      There were hints of what could’ve been a good movie, but yeah – it got Cruised. Zero horror, action comedy.


  5. Kromas Ryder

    September 5, 2017 at 08:31

    Unpopular opinion. I didn’t hate the movie. It wasn’t the greatest movie but at least it was better than the Godzilla reboot.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      September 5, 2017 at 09:33

      Different strokes, and all that. I really dug the Godzilla reboot.


      • Kromas Ryder

        September 5, 2017 at 09:37

        Call me crazy but I like a Godzilla movie to contain more than the last 5 minutes of the movie to be about the titular character. 😛


        • HeavenAndHell

          September 26, 2017 at 15:03

          The best Japanese Godzilla movie(1954) probably had less screen time than that. And it only had one Kaiju as well.


  6. Eastwood Ravine

    September 15, 2017 at 04:23

    People are decrying that America’s culture is why the movie industry is slipping, but they aren’t analyzing the why. We now have digital and streaming services: Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc. as well as basic and paid cable producing movie-quality shows with movie-quality effects. Not to mention people can choose to watch them in their living rooms, or anywhere else for that matter with their portable devices. It’s no small wonder that the people that actually go into a movie theater is on the decline.

    It’s the studios and leaders in Hollywood that finally recognize this trend and adjust to it will be the most successful.


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