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Tom Cruise’s ‘Mummy’ to Get Buried by ‘Wonder Woman’ at Box Office

It’s still Wonder Woman’s world as Gal Gadot’s hit will dominate the weekend at the North American box office against a dismal debut for Tom Cruise’s “The Mummy,” early estimates showed on Friday.

Wonder Woman” is heading for about $52 million at 4,165 sites in its second weekend while “The Mummy” is on life support with around $35 million at 4,034 domestic locations, according to Friday projections.

It’s an impressive result for “Wonder Woman,” underlining its holding power as the film is retaining half of its audience after opening to $103.3 million last weekend. The Warner Bros. tentpole should crack the $200 million milestone by the end of Sunday.

But “The Mummy” is heading for a beating. The opening is at the low end of the most recent projections, which were in the $35 million to $40 million range. Its opening day of $14 million, including $2.7 million from Thursday night previews, is a sharp contrast to “Wonder Woman’s” $38 million first day on June 2.

Whatever momentum “The Mummy” may have had was slowed by a slew of negative reviews in recent days, earning it a Rotten Tomatoes score of only 18%. That’s problematic for Universal, given that “The Mummy” is serving as the launch title for its “Dark Universe” of horror films. The studio earned $1.2 billion worldwide from its last three Mummy films from 1999, 2001, and 2008.

With a $125 million budget, “The Mummy” will need to revere course overseas to see a profit. Universal received some good news on that front Friday, with an $18.7 million first day in China — the biggest opening day for a Cruise movie in the country. The movie is launching in 63 international markets this weekend and already saw a record opening in Korea on Monday.

“The Mummy” will be a test of Cruise’s worldwide star power. His “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” opened with an underwhelming $22.9 million domestically in October on its way to a worldwide gross of $160 million. But his “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” performed well in the summer of 2015 with a $55.5 million domestic launch and an impressive $682 million worldwide.

Cruise is teamed up with Universal on the drug runner drama “American Made,” which opens Sept. 29. The studio issued the first trailer earlier in the week.

Alex Kurtzman directed “The Mummy” and Cruise plays a treasure hunter who resurrects an ancient Egyptian princess, portrayed by Sofia Boutella. Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, and Russell Crowe round out the cast.

A24’s psychological horror movie “It Comes at Night” appeared to be performing under forecasts as it heads for an opening weekend in the $8 million to $9 million range at 2,533 theaters. Bleecker Street’s military biopic “Megan Leavey,” starring Kate Mara, was nearly invisible with a projected launch of $3 million at 1,956 sites.

Fox’s second weekend of “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” will probably finish third with about $13 million, edging Disney’s third frame of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” with about $12 million. The fifth “Pirates” movie grossed a disappointing $125 million in the U.S. in its first two weeks while its international total is near $400 million.

The weekend comes at a time when the overall summer box office is down 0.6%, at $1.072 billion, through June 7, according to comScore. Disappointing performances by several high-profile titles — “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Alien: Covenant,” and “Baywatch” — have been offset by “Wonder Woman” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

The year-to-date domestic box office is 2.8% ahead with $4.83 billion due mostly to the strength of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Logan,” and a trio of Universal titles — “Split,” “Get Out,” and “Fate of the Furious.”

“‘Wonder Woman” has perhaps the most important super power of all, one that enables her to smash a 9% summer deficit to under 3% in a single week and with a promising June start bolstered by the incredible strength of the latest DC superhero epic,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.

Dergarabedian also noted that comScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrack audience survey found that as many fathers as mothers were taking children to see “Wonder Woman.” He added, “‘Wonder Woman’ excelled with female audiences and typically it’s the moms who make the ticket-buying decisions for the family, but ‘Wonder Woman’ clearly inspired dads to take their kids, and most certainly their daughters, to see the movie.”

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