He’s one of the biggest stars on the planet, but even Tom Cruise couldn’t lead “The Mummy” to a totally successful opening weekend at the box office.

Despite posting great numbers overseas, “The Mummy” couldn’t reach number one at the box office and brought in just over $30 million. That’s after box-office expectations were at a modest $45 million opening.

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The movie cost a whopping $125 million after tax rebates — and that’s not including a major marketing push that likely nearly doubled that budget. You can fully expect the movie to vanish, essentially, at the box office in its second weekend.

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“The Mummy” is supposed to kick off the Dark Universe, as Universal has dubbed it. It’s the studio’s chance to create a Marvel-like staple of interconnected movies using already known characters pulled from their old monster movies, such as “Dracula” and “The Wolf Man.”

Despite his brushes with controversy, which have included jumping on couches over his love life and lecturing America about scientology, Cruise is still a well-received actor for the most part. Audiences like him. Add in Russell Crowe’s appearance as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in “The Mummy,” and you have a movie that a lot of people should have liked.

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“The Mummy” received only 17 percent positive reviews from critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Of the over 35,000 users that have rated it, only 45 percent have been positive. CinemaScore, which asks moviegoers to grade movies on opening weekend, scores the film at only a B–, incredibly low considering those grades are typically fairly high.

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What happened? The same thing that has been occurring as studios claw and fight and scratch to come up with anything that will fill the cinema seats. Instead of trying to make strong films with original voices, money has been hoarded and transferred in attempts to mimic exactly what Marvel and Disney had so much success with based on their “Avengers” and “Star Wars” movies.

First, Warner Bros. and DC disappointed nearly everybody with the bloated “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” — and now Universal has done the same with its two-hour trailer of a movie.

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Next up are movie universes based on Godzilla and King Kong. In addition, the “Transformers” movies have a giant writers room working hard to figure out how to make as many toys-fighting-each-other films as possible.

Enough with the universes already. Based on the reception and performances of “Batman v Superman” and “The Mummy,” American audiences are very much craving something different.

“Wonder Woman” was number one at the box office for a second weekend in a row because it told a story with a beginning, middle and end. There was no major attempt to drop nuggets and Easter eggs for future movies. It was an entertaining two hours, not a two-hour trailer for the next movie — which is what “The Mummy” was, clearly. The film got so caught up in introducing characters and structures for future movies, the filmmakers forgot to make a good film.

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Yes, it works for Disney/Marvel, but that doesn’t mean it will work for everybody. Plus, Marvel took multiple films to establish a universe. Studios are now so lazy, they think they’ve earned audience loyalty with the very first feature in whatever new fictional world they are promoting.

Audiences are turning more and more to streaming, television, and alternative forms of entertainment and art because major studios are appealing to the lowest common denominator; they exploit every franchise name known to man. They keep storylines simple and culturally sanitized for international audiences, and they work to sell viewers on a new movie while people are still trying to enjoy the movie they’ve paid money to see.

If audiences want something, it’s good movies. Plain and simple.

People are loving “Wonder Woman” because it tells a great story. Note to those behind “The Mummy” and other franchise builders: Forget the universes. Just get back to making good entertainment already.