After consulting a number of film finance sources, Universal’s Tom Cruise movie stands to lose an estimated $95M off of a final estimated global box office tally of $375M. That’s $75M at the domestic B.O., and $300M from overseas.
This despite the fact that the movie was the biggest global opening ever for Cruise at $169.3M. However, relative to the production investment here, which we are informed is estimated at $345M in total production and global P&A spend (broken out $195M production cost and $150M distribution/ad expenses), those records — and even this weekend’s No. 1 overseas hold of $53M — are not enough to get Mummy over these hurdles.
What’s really going to make The Mummy ancient history at the foreign B.O. this week is the opening of Paramount’s Transformers: The Last Knight, which will steamroll its way into 42 markets this weekend including China, South Korea and Russia. That trio has been prime for the Cruise monster pic. In addition, Last Knight will take the big theaters away, specifically 1,031 Imax theaters in 52 territories (Mummy had 363 over the weekend).
Furthermore, Mummy is minting money in a theatrical market where there isn’t any downstream ancillary business for American movies. We’re talking about China (current B.O. $81.4M), which reps 34% of the pic’s foreign tally. Even if Mummy crosses $100M in China (Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation made over $135M there), only 25% of that is coming back to Universal’s bank account.
Mummy isn’t working in Europe in a big way ($7.8M UK, Germany $4.8M, $3.4M France) or in other markets where there’s a mature downstream. Some of the slowdown in Europe has to do with the heatwave there. Most theaters don’t have air conditioning like the U.S., where it’s a cooling oasis during the summer. In addition, Latin America doesn’t have a reputation for being a big Cruise territory. Mummy has $9.3M apiece in Mexico in Brazil. Those territories ended their runs for Rogue Nation at $12M and $10M, respectively. There’s hope for ancillary monies in South Korea, where Mummy has made $24.1M, and Japan, where it opens on July 28. International TV and home entertainment in South Korea and Japan are bigger than most countries, with the latter as good as Germany.
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).
The above estimates do not include residuals, non-theatrical or any Cruise bonuses. Our non-Universal finance sources tells us that cash break-even occurs at $450M. There is a 40% cash break-even pool for most of the above-the-line talent, “but this film isn’t going to get to cash break-even,” insists our source. There’s another model from another financial source where Mummy clears $400M worldwide and loses significantly less than $60M, but this is factoring that home entertainment makes $85M, as much as Rogue Nation. Many believe $375M is the right endgame for Mummy.
Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise’s previous action title outside the M:I universe, grossed a similar amount of money at the worldwide B.O.: $370M. However, non-Uni analysts tell us that the movie likely lost less than Mummy: Edge crossed the $100M mark stateside, giving it a higher domestic rental, and its foreign B.O. wasn’t so dependent on China ($66M), so it got slightly more dollars back from other foreign territories.
Last weekend, we completely deconstructed what went wrong with The Mummy. Some like to blame Cruise and his big-foot tendencies on a Hollywood production, and that’s nothing new. Anyone who gets in business with Cruise knows he’ll have his fingerprints on everything from editing to marketing, which was the case here with Mummy. In fact, insiders at all studios say he brings a positive, “get charged” spirit to the table when it comes to opening a movie; marathon meetings are just par for the course. Unfortunately, we keep hearing that blockbuster screenwriter Alex Kurtzman was over his head directing his first triple-digit-budgeted tentpole here and that Cruise stepped in to clean up along with his M:I scribes David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie. Originally, Kurtzman was to develop Mummy with his longtime Transformers creative partner Roberto Orci under their deal at Uni. However, they parted ways in April 2014, with Kurtzman then paired with Fast & Furious scribe Chris Morgan to work on Mummy and Dark Universe. Industry executives feel that the creative fruits of Kurtzman/Morgan are quite different from Kurtzman/Orci.
In the long run, Mummy is a blip for Universal, which has been having a super year at the box office, crossing $3B worldwide and $2B overseas in record time for the studio. Despicable Me 3 is opening on June 30 and industry estimates for that Illumination Entertainment movie are between $95M-$100M opening for the Fourth of July stretch. Despite the opulent spend here on Mummy, the studio has been quite frugal with its Blumhouse titles Split and Get Out grossing $528.1M combined at the global B.O. off combined production costs of $13.5M. You can’t say that Universal doesn’t know how to stretch a buck, especially next to other majors. Furthermore Uni’s first-quarter film revenues were up43% versus the same period a year ago with $1.98B along with EBITDA, which was up 121% with $368M. Film reps less than 10% of all Comcast/NBCU rev, which totaled $20.46B. Uni swears it will march forward with its other Dark Universe titles, despite Mummy‘s loss out of the gate as the franchise’s first title. Bill Condon’s The Bride of Frankenstein is next.
Nancy Tartaglione contributed to this report.