“The Mummy,” which was slated to start a huge new franchise for Universal Pictures, is failing to live up to expectations at the box office and finger-pointing has begun in Hollywood.
Several sources interviewed by Variety blame Tom Cruise for the failure of the film, claiming that he exerted nearly complete creative control over the production, bringing his perfectionist tendencies on set.
In a speech made onstage at the movie’s premier, Cruise said, “I don’t just make a movie. I give it everything I have and I expect it from everyone also.” He also noted that “Movies aren’t made by single people. It’s a team effort.”
According to insiders, “The Mummy,” which cost as much as $190 million to make and more than $100 million to market and release worldwide, might struggle to earn back its associated costs. The domestic opening of the film brought in only $32 million and has garnered terrible reviews, although it is performing stronger overseas.
Variety reported that sources from Universal said that Cruise’s contract guaranteed him control of most aspects of the project, including the film’s marketing and release strategy.
Universal released a statement defending Cruise against accusations that he negatively influenced the film.
“Tom approaches every project with a level of commitment and dedication that is unmatched by most working in our business today,” the statement read. “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 movie going experience.”
There is doubt whether “The Mummy” will break even, and the performance of the film has called into question Universal’s plans for a Dark Universe franchise slated to feature A-list stars such as Johnny Depp (as “The Invisible Man”) and Angelina Jolie (in negotiations for “The Bride of Frankenstein”).
Regarding Tom Cruise and “The Mummy,” Variety calls the film’s failure “a textbook case of a movie star run amok.”
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