Have you ever seen those movie ads on TV filled with gushing quotes from critics and thought to yourself, “I saw that movie; it was terrible. Where did they find these positive reviews?” If you have, you’re not alone — and you’re going to love ScreenCrush’s series, Critics Are Raving!, which balances the cinematic scales with trailers full of slightly more accurate (and slightly more negative) lines from reviews. Real critics. Real quotes. Really bad movies. That’s what’s Critics Are Raving! is all about.
If you only look at the surface numbers, this was a pretty predictable week at the box office. Wonder Woman did well, The Mummy did not, and everything else shook out accordingly. That being said, there’s some pretty interesting narratives emerging in the how and why of this weekend’s box office report. Let’s take a look at the rankings as of Sunday afternoon and dive into some of the specifics:
Universal was initially taking more of a “wait and see” approach to their burgeoning monster movie franchise, but that changed last week when the studio formally announced plans to kick things into high gear. The newly-dubbed and somewhat ambitious “Dark Universe” (not to be confused with Warner Bros.’ long-developing DC film) will feature long-rumored reboots like Bride of Frankenstein and The Wolfman, and rumor has it Universal is eyeing another one of their franchise super-stars to take the lead in the latter.
Every year, when the bottom drops out of the summer movie season and audiences decide to stay home and watch television instead, some well-meaning critic will publish an article asking if cinema is dead. And every year, I pose the same question in response: “Is Tom Cruise still an action star?” As long as Tom Cruise is running across multiplex screens — fighting rogue nations, government consiparcies, and even the occasional mummy — there is still hope for cinema. Then, when Cruise’s career is done and Hollywood is in ashes, then, cinema, you have my permission to die.
There were not many ways to get me excited in a Mummy reboot, the first in a planned series of connected movies linking The Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein and more, but Universal has found a way. Tom Cruise is in talks to star in The Mummy and is expected to take a major role in developing the new monster universe.