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Top Producers Depart Universal Monsters ‘Dark Universe’ Franchise as Studio Changes Course

Dark Universe, we hardly knew ye! After the disappointing performance of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy this summer (the film earned a paltry $80 million at the domestic box office against a production budget of $125 million), there was speculation that Universal’s ambitious Dark Universe franchise would not proceed as planned. Then came the news that the studio had pulled the plug on pre-production of Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein. Now, things have gone from bad to worse! The Hollywood Reporter just broke the news that writers/producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have officially left the project. Kurtzman directed The Mummy, and the duo were initially brought on board to oversee production of the entire cinematic universe, which once promised to feature the likes of Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Anjelina Jolie in future installments. read more

‘It’ Creeps Into Top Spot; ‘Flatliners’ D.O.A. at Weekend Box Office

It was a three way battle for the box office crown this weekend, but in the end, It appears to have climbed to the top of the heap once again, collecting an estimated $17.3 million in sales.

Final numbers will be released late Monday, but it looks like It was able to narrowly beat Tom Cruise’s American Made and Kingsman: The Golden Circle ($17 million).  The Stephen King adaptation continues to deliver impressive numbers nearly a month into its release, currently standing at $291 million at the domestic box office.  It will probably drop from the top spot next weekend when the highly anticipated and well-reviewed  Blade Runner 2049 opens (96% on Rotten Tomatoes), but Pennywise will most likely stay in theaters throughout October, adding to an already record-setting total. read more

‘The Mummy (2017)’: The Horror News Network Review

Critics have taken great delight in tearing The Mummy to shreds over the past few weeks. When word dropped of poor early reviews and anticipated disappointing performance at the domestic box office, a pile-on occurred where critics tried to one-up each other with witty insults for the film and its participants. I’m embarrassed to say that I also took part in the public flogging (“Smell something rotten this weekend?”, I mused. “That’s the stench of a sarcophagus that never should have been opened!”) Well, I decided to take advantage of the pleasure of sitting in a big empty theater for a movie that isn’t drawing audiences and check out the flick for myself. To my utter surprise, I didn’t find it to be nearly as bad as I expected based on other critical reviews. In short, I’ve certainly seen worse mummy movies! read more

Will The Mummy Send Universal’s Dark Universe Back to the Shadows?

As detailed by HNN’s John Evan’s on FridayThe Mummy’s (2017) abysmal critical reception led to a domestic financial disaster at the box office with an estimated $32.2 million in ticket sales, amounting to a lot less than the average Pharaoh’s treasure.  While the studio is trumpeting the global box office as a “victory” with an estimated $141 million so far, The Mummy’s domestic reception could not have been worse for a film that was supposed to usher in a “new age of god’s and monsters.” read more

‘The Mummy’ Set to Unravel at the Box Office This Weekend Amid Poor Reviews

Smell something rotten this weekend? That’s the stench of a sarcophagus that never should have been opened! The Mummy reboot, the first of Universal’s action-oriented “Dark Universe” monster franchise, is opening in theaters this weekend amid a slew of poor critical reviews and low box office predictions. Based on early indicators, this movie’s dropping faster than Tom Cruise’s plane featured in the movie’s zero-gravity stunt!

Taking into account of 178 critical reviews at the time of this writing, the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score for The Mummy is currently sitting at an embarrassing 17%. It only gets worse when examining the site’s “Top Critics” score… the Tomatometer plummets to just 8%! The content of the reviews aren’t any better. Multiple critics refer to the film as the worst movie of Tom Cruise’s career in their reviews. Many more simply refer to the movie as “a mess.” This kind of reception doesn’t exactly inspire moviegoers to race to the multiplex. read more

Universal Reportedly Wants Angelina Jolie and Dwayne Johnson for ‘Dark Universe’ Franchise

Have you ever wanted to see Angelina Jolie as the Bride of Frankenstein, or Dwayne Johnson as the Wolf Man? Well, you may be in luck! The Hollywood Reporter recently crunched the numbers needed for Universal’s upcoming The Mummy to be considered a success (a $40 million domestic opening weekend, for starters). In their report, they state that, if all goes well, the studio is currently eyeing the two megastars for future installments in the franchise. 

The studio has reportedly wanted Angelina Jolie for quite a while to play the titular role in Bill Condon’s upcoming Bride of Frankenstein. However, formal negotiations have not yet begun. This is likely due to the fact that Jolie commands a hefty fee and the studio isn’t quite sure if their action-fueled reboots of their silver screen classics will become financial hits. read more

The Mummy to Kick Off Universal’s Dark Universe Franchise

To a new world of gods and monsters…..and now to a new cinematic universe as well.  In an effort to replicate the success of DC and Marvel, Universal Pictures has branded a name to the upcoming round of reboots and relaunches to its monster movie franchise:  Dark Universe.  The much-anticipated series of films, which begins on June 9th with the release of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, will include updates of all classic monsters in the Universal stable including Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man among others.  The second film in the Dark Universe will be Bride of Frankenstein (directed by Bill Condon), with an expected release date of February 14, 2019. read more

Universal Releases Featurette on Tom Cruise’s Stunts in The Mummy

Universal has released a new featurette to Syfy Wire, which outlines all of the key ingredients Universal Monsters fans are looking for in the upcoming reboot of The Mummy: explosions, rocket launchers, ambulance crashes, and extended underwater breath holding sequences!

Oh, were you expecting me to say, “gothic atmosphere, unforgettable humanistic creatures, and a strong emphasis on character”? It’s not that kinda movie!

You can watch the entire clip below:

Don’t get me wrong: Tom Cruise is an amazing movie star. The fact that he does as many of his own stunts as humanly possible always make his films a treat to behold. It is simply amazing that he still puts so much blood, sweat, and tears into his movies while many of his contemporaries are simply calling it in and cashing a check. But all of these stunts would be much better suited for the next Mission: Impossible movie! As a Universal Monsters purist, I wish he would have saved these sequences for M:I 6, and brought a more subtle approach to The Mummy (as he did in Vanilla SkyA Few Good Men, and Magnolia). read more

New Action-Packed The Mummy Trailer Released

Universal released a new action-packed The Mummy trailer today, which is set to be released in theaters on June 9, 2017 in the middle of a packed summer season.

The trailer reveals more details than the first one, and amps up the action ala Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible series. While purists may balk at the amount of explosions and crashing planes (The Mummy is hardly seen in the original 1932 Universal film ), but there does appear to be more elements of classic Universal Horror, more so than the last reboot from the late 1990’s starring Brendan Fraser. read more

Feast Your Eyes on This Poster Art for The Mummy!

Hot off the buzz from the appearance of new footage at this week’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Universal has released new poster art for The Mummy. While early footage largely focused on Tom Cruise action sequences, the studio and the filmmakers have been eager to let fans know that the film will feature a strong horror element. This new poster art reflects that sentiment, as it features a close up of Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond) as Princess Ahmanet. Her double pupil and hieroglyphic markings are on full display on this one sheet, which can be viewed in full below: read more