Box office preview: Wonder Woman prepares to bury The Mummy
It’s going to be difficult for the impending three-day frame to live up to last weekend’s monumental box office showdown, which saw Wonder Woman emerge as the highest-grossing female-directed movie of all time with a whopping $103 million launch. With little in terms of major competition threatening the DCEU flick’s sky-high reign, Wonder Woman is in prime position to lasso a follow-up victory as Tom Cruise’s latest action-adventure, The Mummy, attempts to fend off a barrage of scathing reviews to set Universal’s Dark Universe off on the right foot. Check out EW’s June 9-11 box office predictions below.
1 – Wonder Woman — $54 million
As she preps for her second weekend in wide release, the legacy of Wonder Woman‘s (predominantly male) cinematic forerunners suggests she’sis looking at a sophomore slump in the 50-60 percent range; but, given the film’s overwhelming success with critics and audiences (the film received a rare A-grade on CinemaScore), the Patty Jenkins-directed blockbuster has taken on a new, timely significance in the pop cultural canon, and its follow-up performance on the North American chart will likely reflect that with a softer drop than her superhero peers.
2 – The Mummy — $28 million
Once a surefire bet for a box office hit, Cruise’s bankability as an action star has dwindled as the movie industry continues to shift around him. He remains, however, steadfast in his convictions, fronting genre entry after genre entry despite the domestic underperformance of recent films like Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Oblivion, and Knight & Day.
The Mummy sees the Hollywood vet taking the reins of what could be Universal’s riskiest contemporary gamble yet, as the $125 million production — inspired by the studio’s classic back catalog of creature features and not, contrary to popular belief, a remake of the Brendan Fraser-led trilogy that bowed between 1999 and 2008 — sets sail against the iron-clad Wonder Woman‘s second go-round with audiences.
While negative reviews haven’t completely derailed Cruise’s pictures in the past, few of said releases have carried the weight currently resting on The Mummy‘s shoulders. With the future of the Dark Universe (films starring Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster are already in the works) riding on this picture’s success or failure, the film must latch on to foreign audiences at the very least, a feat similar action-intensive movies like The Great Wall ($286.8 million worldwide) and Warcraft ($386 million worldwide) achieved despite falling short of the $50 million mark domestically. There’s no denying Cruise’s global appeal, which likely resulted in the film’s Facebook page earning a strong 4 million likes since its inception (another indicator that The Mummy is headed toward a $25 million+ take), but there’s plenty of reasons to believe The Mummy could also be a high-profile flop.
3 – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie — $14 million
Family-oriented offerings typically fare well with summer moviegoers, and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie should be no exception while it plays through the month, likely more than doubling its so-so $23.9 million opening by the end of its run thanks to evergreen appeal (the film is based on a popular children’s book series). Expect a drop in the 40-50 percent range.
4 – It Comes At Night — $11 million
It’s been almost four months since a bonafide horror hit has played on movie screens worldwide when Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out rocketed to the top of the domestic chart with an astounding $33.4 million start in February. A month earlier, M. Night Shyamalan catapulted Split to almost $140 million in the U.S. and Canada, with smaller-budgeted 2017 entries like Rings, The Belko Experiment, and The Bye Bye Man — while not exactly posting gangbuster returns — each clearing their respective budgets in terms of total receipts. Given those facts, horror as a whole is due for a seasonal hit, and that very well could be It Comes At Night, A24’s grim post-apocalyptic yarn that stars Kevin Harrison Jr., Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbott, and Riley Keough.
It’s worth noting that A24 recently carried the comparable The Witch to an unexpected $25 million gross last year, and It Comes At Night is more than capable of reaching — and even surpassing — that peak. Regardless of whether it lives up to our lofty prediction or otherwise, this low-budget film will be profitable and could help facilitate director Trey Edward Shults’ transition from indie maverick (2015’s Krisha earned widespread raves on the prestige circuit) to renowned mainstream auteur.
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5 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — $10 million
After tumbling a painful 65 percent from week one to week two, Disney’s fifth Pirates of the Caribbean flick is poised to sink even further into the depths of box office obscurity in the days ahead, as both The Mummy, Wonder Woman, and It Comes At Night siphon away an even larger portion of its dwindling demographic. Still, the film has amassed over $500 million globally on a $230 million budget, meaning this franchise could set sail once again as the series has now collectively passed the $4 billion mark.
Elsewhere, Fox Searchlight unleashes its period drama My Cousin Rachel at roughly 500 theaters. Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin star in the Roger Michell-directed picture, which is based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1951 novel of the same name. Mid-year costume dramas like this often find their audience among the mature set at this time of year, with Kate Beckinsale’s Whit Stillman stunner Love & Friendship — also based on a literary work, this time by Jane Austen — grossing a stellar $14 million after its May 13, 2016 premiere. My Cousin Rachel won’t soar that high, but its talent roster (Weisz is an Oscar winner) and decent critical reviews could be enough to edge it into the top 10.
Salma Hayek additionally fronts the cast of the Sundance favorite Beatriz at Dinner as a Mexican woman living the American dream, who, after an unexpected stay at the home of a client (Connie Britton), finds herself at odds with her wealthy acquaintances’ (John Lithgow, among others) elitist views. Roadside Attractions is releasing the film to a limited number of sites on Friday, where it should post a healthy per-screen average (as buzzy specialty titles with big-name stars often do) through Sunday.