1 Failed Tom Cruise Movie Franchise Proves His Star Power Better Than Top Gun & Mission Impossible

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Although Top Gun and Mission Impossible show how big of a star Tom Cruise is, the best proof is, actually, in one failed movie franchise.

Remarkably, one of the biggest and wealthiest actors in the business, Tom Cruise’s star power is demonstrated by one unsuccessful film franchise more than his two most successful ones. Tom Cruise made his acting debut in the romantic drama Endless Love in 1981, but it wasn’t until two years later that he landed the lead in the comic film Risky Business that he really made his breakthrough. Tom Cruise rose to fame in the 1980s, and Top Gun was unquestionably his most significant undertaking at the time. Thanks to his role as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Tony Scott’s film Top Gun, Cruise’s career took off and he became a very successful actor.

With roles in films such as Days of Thunder, Interview with the Vampire, and Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise’s popularity persisted throughout the 1990s. In Mission: Impossible, he made his acting debut as Ethan Hunt in 1996. Since then, Cruise has starred in every highly successful Mission Impossible film, further solidifying his unquestionable star power. But one of the greatest examples of Tom Cruise’s extraordinary star power comes from a failed series that, had it succeeded, would have greatly accelerated Cruise’s career.

The Mummy (2017) Grossed $410 Million (Despite Being Awful)

The Mission Impossible saga helped Cruise maintain his popularity through the 2000s and 2010s, leading to other big projects. Among them was 2017’s The Mummy, a reboot of the Mummy franchise directed by Alex Kurtzman. Cruise was cast as U.S. Army Sergeant Nick Morton, a soldier who accidentally unearths the ancient tomb of entrapped Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). When the princess is set free, Nick and company have to fight for their lives while also looking for a way to defeat the malevolent princess.

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The Mummy was planned to be the first step in the creation of a modern cinematic universe based on Universal’s classic monsters, with plans for a remake of Bride of Frankenstein and 2014’s Dracula Untold being retrospectively considered to be the first movie in this new universe. Unfortunately, The Mummy was a critical failure, but its box office numbers didn’t really match the bad reviews.

Although The Mummy was a box-office bomb, it grossed $80.2 million domestically and $329.8 million overseas, which are big numbers for a movie that was destroyed by critics and general audiences. It’s safe to say that The Mummy’s box office numbers are thanks to Tom Cruise’s star power, showing the impact that he has even if the movie isn’t good.

Not Even Tom Cruise Could Save Universal’s Dark Universe

Tom Cruise’s celebrity might could have kept The Mummy from grossly embarrassing box office results, but it wouldn’t have been enough to salvage Universal’s Dark Universe. Critics referred to The Mummy as a “mess” and attacked it for its narrative tone, plot points that established the Dark Universe, and lack of originality. Had the Dark Universe continued, it would have been an even worse disaster and travesty than The Mummy itself. The Mummy would have established the precedent for what was to come. Beyond Tom Cruise’s acting, The Mummy has other issues, and even his fame wouldn’t have allowed Universal’s Dark Universe to function as originally intended.

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