‘Mummy’ re­boot comes alive

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN - By Gaochao Zhang Zhang is a spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent for The Times.

BEI­JING — “The Mummy” leaped to life this week at the Chi­nese box of­fice de­spite its dis­mal pre­miere in the U.S.

The ac­tion-ad­ven­ture film, star­ring Tom Cruise, landed on top of China’s box of­fice with a ro­bust $52.4 mil­lion open­ing, far out­pac­ing its do­mes­tic de­but, ac­cord­ing to film con­sult­ing firm Ar­ti­san Gate­way.

Alex Kurtz­man di­rected the re­boot from Uni­ver­sal, which fea­tures an an­cient princess who is awak­ened from her crypt be­neath the desert to threaten hu­mankind.

Big ac­tion-ad­ven­ture films tend to do well in China, and Cruise re­mains a big draw for movie­go­ers.

The strong de­but for “The Mummy” in China stands in stark con­trast to its weak per­for­mance in the U.S. and Canada. The movie, which sources say cost an es­ti­mated $175 mil­lion to make, was panned by crit­ics and grossed just $32 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally last week­end. The film has done well in other coun­tries, col­lect­ing more than $142 mil­lion in­ter­na­tion­ally, but is con­sid­ered a set­back for Uni­ver­sal’s ef­forts to re­vive its mon­ster fran­chise.

Warner Bros.’ hit su­per­hero film “Won­der Woman” took in $30.9 mil­lion in China, bring­ing its to­tal to $70.1 mil­lion af­ter 10 days. The mod­est ticket sales may re­flect China’s lack of fa­mil­iar­ity with the fe­male hero.

Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures’ “Pi­rates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the lat­est in­stall­ment of the fran­chise star­ring Johnny Depp, added $17.4 mil­lion to reach a whop­ping $162.4 mil­lion.

Bol­ly­wood drama “Dan­gal” con­tin­ued its strong Chi­nese run, rank­ing fourth in its sixth week of re­lease. It pulled in an ad­di­tional $9.7 mil­lion to reach $179.6 mil­lion. It has be­come the high­est gross­ing In­dian and nonHol­ly­wood im­ported film of all time in China. (It doesn’t hurt that Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping re­cently told In­dian Pres­i­dent Narenda Modi that he watched the film and liked it.)

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