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Last week, Sony Pictures announced plans to re-release Morbius after weeks of watching the film become a meme. This week, it's clear that memes might just be all most people were interested in when it comes to Morbius.
Forbes reports that the Jared Leto-starring film about Marvel Comics' living vampire earned just $300,000 over the weekend as it returned to more than 1,000 screens in North America, for an average of roughly $289 (or a couple dozen or so people) per theater. So, the film's cumulative box office now sits at $73.6 million domestically, barely budging from its initial theatrical run total. By comparison, A24's Everything Everywhere All At Once earned a little more than $2 million in its 11th weekend of release.
The Morbius re-release and its failure to generate any real traction over the weekend comes after weeks of social media users making the film into a meme, particularly through phrases like "The Summer of Morbius" and, most famously, "It's Morbin' Time." The memes became so ubiquitous that even Leto tried to get in on them, tweeting a video of himself last week showing off a title page for a fake script titled Morbius 2: It's Morbin' Time. The hope at Sony seemed to be that all the tweeting would translate to more enthusiasm for the film on the big screen, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Morbius arrived back in April after numerous COVID-19 related release date delays as the next film in Sony's expanding Marvel character universe, on the heels of the release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The film had a big name in its title role and the chance to capitalize on the multiverse-hopping success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, but despite a decent $39 million opening weekend, Morbius couldn't hold on to any momentum. Critics panned the film, and audiences gave it a rough C+ CinemaScore, leaving it to trail off in theaters even as Twitter users kept discussing the film ironically.
Still, the Morbius results haven't necessarily stalled Sony's big plans for mover Spider-Man-related spinoff films. Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the title role, is next up on Sony's docket, and several other major Spider-projects are in development, including Madame Web and the recently announced El Muerto, starring Bad Bunny in the title role.
Meanwhile, Morbius is set to hit Blu-ray later this month, giving audiences who missed it in theaters (twice) the chance to check out the film from the comfort of their homes. It'll be interesting to see how home media treats the film, given the continued appetite for memes.
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