I know two things about Morbius: one is that that Jared Leto tries his hand at being a vampire, and the other is that most people seem to have deemed the movie bad, but not in a particularly interesting way.
Outside of that, my entire conception of the seemingly failed Marvel IP has been influenced by the run of memes that proliferated online since the movie hit theaters at the beginning of April. Sony, the project’s distributor, seems to have taken the ironic praise to heart, and decided that the litany of posts using the hashtag #MorbiusSweep — with claims that the film sold over a trillion tickets and earned a “morbillion” dollars — were proof that the movie should be re-released. Any engagement is good engagement, right?
Tweet from Input’s Annie Rauwerda.
Wrong. Morbius managed to gross a paltry $88,625 last Friday, following a re-release in 1,037 additional theaters. For some context, the movie was only available in 83 theaters, during the prior weekend. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which has been out for nearly as long as Morbius, grossed about $16,000 more despite only being in 625 theaters.
Paradigm shift— For a terrible movie to be compelling, it needs to transcend what we think is possible in film. Movies like Spawn, which was based on Todd McFarlane’s comic of the same name, was also terrible but functioned like a strange, art-piece that languished in disharmony and comically, vile special effects. Despite a general critical skewering, the late Roger Ebert famously recognized some value in viewing it.
Morbius on the other hand seems to have missed the mark completely. Here’s a round-up of some of the best Tweets, following the unprecedented double flop of a movie that you’d think would be too big to fail: