The Mummy and Tom Cruise

The multiplexes are full of movies trying to kick-start a new shared universe to rival the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ($10 billion at the worldwide box office in a decade and counting), but none have quite fumbled it like The Mummy. In fact, its conception, development, release and expansion into the proposed Dark Universe are pretty much a “how not to” guide when it comes to this sort of franchise.

Taking obvious inspiration from the unstoppable success of the MCU, we’ve seen a rise of attempted mega-franchises in recent years: chiefly, the DC Extended Universe, Sony’s non-Spider-Man SpiderVerse, the MonsterVerse (which is building to Godzilla …

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