Brendan Fraser Says Tom Cruise’s The Mummy Failed Because It Forgot One Thing

Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy was a much greater success than the Tom Cruise-led reboot that both opened and derailed Universal’s planned Dark Universe. While some people were unsure why a multi-million-dollar blockbuster that also starred Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll flopped, Fraser has a very definite answer as to why he believes the 2017 movie failed – it lacked fun.

2017’s The Mummy was intended to be the first movie in a shared universe that would have contained many old Universal Monsters and other gothic characters from literature. With a nearly $200 million budget, Universal was hoping for good things from the film, especially with the ever-dependable Tom Cruise in the lead role and with the film being a reboot of the popular Brendan Fraser franchise of the same name. However, its box office takings of just $410 million worldwide meant that the movie ended up losing a reported $100 million once marketing costs were taken into account.


While the reviews of the movie were pretty scathing, Fraser says that as far as he is concerned, the biggest reason that the movie failed is that it abandoned its sense of fun. He told Variety:

“It is hard to make that movie. The ingredient that we had going for our Mummy, which I didn’t see in that film, was fun. That was what was lacking in that incarnation. It was too much of a straight-ahead horror movie. The Mummy should be a thrill ride, but not terrifying and scary. I know how difficult it is to pull it off. I tried to do it three times.”

The Dark Universe Didn’t Follow The Marvel Principle

As Brendan Fraser says, his version of The Mummy was both exciting, scary, and a whole lot of thrilling fun, and while Universal was attempting to create something like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they forgot the simple principle that audiences like to have fun, even if they are being a little bit scared at the same time. Although many people criticize the Marvel route of filmmaking, there is no denying the box office wins that are virtually guaranteed by any release that forms part of Marvel Studios’ Magnum Opus.

Tom Cruise may have gained a lot of love at the box office this year by starring in Top Gun: Maverick, which has become the biggest movie of the year and is among the highest-grossing films of all time, and his upcoming duo of Mission: Impossible movies are also expected to give the star some healthy returns, but The Mummy proved that sometimes even the pull of an icon like Cruise can’t guarantee success if the audiences just aren’t on board.

Universal has now abandoned their shared Dark Universe, which is still a huge shame, but they have found success with some reworkings of their old monster movies of the 30s and 40s. With Marvel Studios having recently shown how to do a real old-school monster project with Werewolf by Night, Universal is keeping things on an individual basis with the likes of horror comedy Renfield coming in the near future. Hopefully, they remember the fun factor.