Can Universal Turn to Online Slots to Save
the Dark Universe?
The Dark Universe was designed to be Universal Studios’ way of rivalling both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe. The plan was to reimagine and bring back some of the classic monsters and stories of yesteryear for a modern audience. With iconic characters such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Invisible Man at the studio’sdisposal, there is no doubting that the potential of this project is huge, as there’s already clear interest from the public who have embraced pinoff video games and casino games such as slot machines dedicated to the dark heroes. However, after the commercial failure of 2017’s The Mummy, the Dark Universe is on hold. So what can Universal Studios do to help push it towards success?
The Mummy was supposed to kick-start the Dark Universe with a bang. With Tom Cruise in the starring role and respected screenwriter Alex Kurtzman in the director’s chair, the producers expected a major box-office hit. For this reason they pumped around $345 million into production and advertising for the picture. This didn’t turn out to be a sound investment, as the film bombed commercially and only brought in $409 million worldwide. Now, the studio has been forced to rethink whether they should carry on with the franchise. But there are some ways that they could give the films a better chance of success.
Boost the Franchise by Creating Slot Games
One potential way to boost awareness of the Dark Universe and create a ready-made audience
for future instalments is to exploit the booming online casino industry. Many successful franchises nowadays have done well by spreading across different platforms in this way. You only need to look at lists of online slots to find titles based on popular films, such as The Dark Knight, Gladiator, and Jurassic World. Jurassic World was certainly helped by tapping into this flourishing online casino sector, which raked in $47.11 billion in 2017. The dinosaur epic is the fourth-highest grossing film of all time, and part of this huge audience may have been pulled in from the online casino industry.
There are existing online slots like the Book of Dead, which could be replicated by the Dark
Universe. According to this Book of Dead review, the game features strong Ancient Egyptian
themes and side games. Fans of this slot game would almost certainly want to play an online
slot version of The Mummy, which could in turn help convince more people to watch the film.
Planned Future Installments
Before The Mummy met with scathing reviews and failed at the box office, Universal Studios had a number of other ideas for films which would have been released further down the line. A remake of the 1935 classic the Bride of Frankenstein was next on the agenda, with Bill Condon assigned as the director. Although the studio has now decided to postpone this film indefinitely, there is an argument that it could fare better than The Mummy. There is
already a hugely popular Frankenstein slot in the online casino circuit, and the iconic character has succeeded in the mainstream ever since Mary Shelley released her seminal work in 1818.
Universal will be understandably weary about developing another film which could turn out to be a flop. But there is no doubting the money-making potential of creating a universe of the same scale that Marvel has achieved. For this reason, it is fairly likely that the Dark Universe will go ahead, but it may take a bit longer than originally planned.