Universal's DARK UNIVERSE Future In Doubt As THE MUMMY Flops; Alex Kurtzman Explains The Movie's Ending

The Mummy has flopped at the box office and while Universal is still moving forward with its Dark Universe, this movie's twist ending - as explained by Alex Kurtzman - could now be left unresolved.

With a little over $32.2 million at the North America box office, things aren't looking good for The Mummy's chances of success. While it definitely performed better overseas, this isn't a particularly strong start for Universal's Dark Universe. Yes, the studio is pushing forward with its plan to launch a shared world of movie monsters, but a combination of that and negative reviews have hurt the brand. 

"The Dark Universe is a continuation of a love affair the studio has had with its classic monsters. It is a Valentine to the genre that is in our DNA," Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou tells The Hollywood Reporter after insisting the future of the Dark Universe doesn't hinge on The Mummy's success. However, the trade points out that the pressure is now on for these movies to work, especially as Dracula Untold was supposed to launch this world and also proved to be a failure.

"I don't think Universal's Dark Universe will collapse because of The Mummy underperforming, but it should make the studio think twice about pumping so much money into their vastly expanding universe," says Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. "There will be a lot riding on Bride of Frankenstein. And when I say a lot, I mean everything." With Universal insisting that each movie will have a standalone feel, we can probably forget about an eventual team-up if the next movies don't work!

However, with the ending of The Mummy leaving Tom Cruise's character as a Mummy himself (his face is wrapped in bandages and never seen but it appears as if he's acquired powers after sacrificing his life to stop the villain), could that be left unresolved? Who knows, but director Alex Kurtzman explains:

"We actually used a fair amount of the design from Tom looking like a full monster in the one moment when he screams over Jenny. Because it's so fast, you can't quite process exactly what it is. You can tell something is very wrong, but you can't quite tell what it is. The choice to play their scene with Tom essentially in silhouette was very much designed from the idea that what you don't see is going to be scarier, and there's a subjectivity to the storytelling in that moment, because she's trying to see him as we're trying to see him. I'm kind of tying her experience to the audience's experience and hopefully it makes you lean in a little more to wondering what it looks like. Who knows what his monsterness will evolve into over the course of the next film? We have a lot of ideas about that. ... They live in a gray area, not just the monsters, but the characters who inhabit their world inhabit a gray area, and I look forward to seeing how Nick's struggle evolves, because he now understands the best version of himself, and yet, he's going to have a literal devil inside of him. How are those two things going to work together?"

It's an interesting move, but it remains to be seen if it will pay off. Kurtzman seems confident a sequel will happen and says we could see Cruise's Mummy before then, but based on these box office numbers, it probably won't happen! What do you guys think? Share your thoughts in the usual place!
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