Morbius: Curse
Indy

A decision to bring Sony Pictures' Morbius back from the dead has resulted in a stake being driven into the heart of the Marvel-inspired vampire flick.

Originally released in April, Sony have seemingly misinterpreted the smoke-signals of internet fandom. A weekend re-release in 1,000 US cinemas (up from 85 cinemas the week before) only managed to take in an additional $85,000 according to Forbes on Friday, with $280,000 across the weekend.

Starring Jared Leto, Matt Smith & Jared Harris, Morbius made almost $170m during its initial worldwide release but didn't manage to win the love of its primary audience nor critics. It currently holds a 17 per cent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes while the 71 per cent audience rating seems to hang on irony, meta-commentary, and the low-bar excuse that 'it isn't totally a train-wreck.'

The film attempted to find a cinematic foothold within the realms of Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe & Sony's 'Spider-Man universe', but fell short of both the standards of Disney's attempts and the 'fun' of Sony's. In fact, the selling point of Morbius now dwells in meta-commentary, irony, puns & memes - not the actual on-screen action.

The internet provided a reputation boost for 'The Living Vampire'. On release, internet users joked that Morbius - with a bit of effort - could top Avatar's box office ($2.5b). Of course, it fell flat before this goal, but scenes of Smith's dancing and feigned confusion on whether Leto said the infamous line "it's Morbin' time," (commenters ribbed that nobody had actually seen Morbius to verify this) won over a secondary audience, away from the primary fans that Sony had hoped to impress, somehow.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

However, that secondary audience - populating Discord servers, subreddits and social media - did not at all represent a general paying audience. The re-release by Sony attempted to manifest a new reality for Morbius, but it found a poorer second-life than it's original one.

This time around, the film made $85 per cinema on the first day of its re-release. Based on AMC's average ticket price, that's around six tickets per cinema, with only 14 tickets more per cinema coming across the other two days a weekend. 6 or 7 tickets per day, per cinema.

To put it bluntly, it seems like that re-release is better than garlic or wooden stakes for this one. You can pay for a cinema ticket to watch Morbius, or joke about it without needing to see it, at all. The best joke in the film doesn't actually exist in the film.

The future? Leto's Morbius is canonically a part of Sony's 'Spider-Man universe', which currently only includes 2018's Venom and its 2021 sequel. Despite that, Spider-Man has only been mentioned once in the three films, which seem to share little connection bar the comic book origins of both Morbius & Venom. A sequel may yet be greenlit, but based on these figures it may be a horrible idea.

Seemingly the best place for Morbius to exist? The DMs - and that's it.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)