‘The Mummy’ is buried at box office by ‘Wonder Woman

August Brown
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — For the second week in a row, “Wonder Woman” has the U.S. box office all tied up.

The Gal Gadot-starring blockbuster from Warner Bros. and DC Comics once again claimed the top domestic slot for the weekend, taking in $57.18 million to bring its 10-day total to $205 million, according to ComScore. That shows just a 45 percent drop from its opening weekend, an especially strong showing for a high-opening superhero film in its second weekend.

“It’s the best hold for a superhero movie since ‘Batman Begins’ in 2005,” said Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner Bros. “It’s a special movie that’s resonated everywhere. It’s that rare water-cooler movie where we’re hearing anecdotally about people going to see it three, four, five times.”

Indeed, the midweek numbers ($11.8 million for Monday, $14.3 million for Tuesday and $9.3 million for Wednesday) suggest that all the critical acclaim for the Patty Jenkins-directed smash is driving consistent crowds even after the opening-weekend rush. The film has a 93 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an A CinemaScore from audiences.

Goldstein said that a relatively even 55 percent-45 percent split of female to male audiences suggests that “Wonder Woman” is appealing to wide, diverse audiences and that the more optimistic tone of the film could help inform the aesthetics of the other commercially successful but critically moribund DC Comics franchises.

“We know we had been criticized for the prior (DC Comics) films that were successful at the box office but not with critics,” Goldstein said. “It’s all about stories that (are) well-written and well-executed, and in this one the star was just stunning.”

With a summer-defining hit on their hands, Goldstein said to expect to “see a lot more of Diana” and the “Wonder Woman” world in the future.

“There are so many characters that intersect in so many ways that are exciting for us,” he added.

“Wonder Woman” easily bested the domestic debut of “The Mummy,” the kickoff of Universal’s “Dark Universe” series of revived classic monster-movie villains. Tom Cruise starred in the latest update of the property, with Sofia Boutella in the title role of the mummy.

The film, directed by Alex Kurtzman, opened to a soft $32.2 million domestically over its opening weekend. It’s the lowest opening for any “Mummy” film since its modern revival, which began in 1999 in a remake starring Brendan Fraser. But the film did significantly better overseas, with a projected $141.8 million haul in 63 other territories for a total of $174 million worldwide.

“Obviously we always want to do the best gross we can and we were challenged domestically,” said Nick Carpou, president of domestic theatrical distribution for Universal Pictures. “But the film is terrific entertainment, and overall it’s going to be Tom (Cruise’s) biggest international opening of all time. The accumulation adds up to a box-office total we’re proud of.”

Elsewhere down the box-office tally, the family-friendly animated comedy “Captain Underpants” skivvied up to $12.3 million in its second weekend, for a 10-day total $44.6 million. The David Soren-directed feature had a strong cast of voice talent, including comedians Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll and Jordan Peele.

In its third weekend, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” continued to skulk around the top five, taking in $10.7 million domestically for a worldwide total of $600.2 million. “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” continued to be a force in its sixth week in release, taking in $6.2 million for a global total of $833.2 million.

The other notable debuts included the critically acclaimed A24 horror feature “It Comes at Night,” which crept up to a $6 million first weekend for director Trey Edward Shults. The dog-in-wartime drama “Megan Leavey,” with Kate Mara in the title role, bowed at $3.7 million.