Morbius has seen a huge drop at the box office, breaking an unwanted Marvel movie record previously held by X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Here’s why.
Warning: May contain spoilers for Morbius.
Among Marvel movies, Morbius’ box office broke a huge record — just not a very positive one. The latest film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe tells the story of Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto). The Spider-Man villain, and sometimes antihero, gains vampiric powers after undergoing experiments in an attempt to cure his rare blood disease. Morbius performed well on its opening weekend in theaters, earning a total of $84 million worldwide, but that success was short-lived.
Morbius had faced difficulties even before its premiere, which had been delayed for about two years. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed back its release, and the movie also underwent some last minute changes that undoubtedly contributed to the poor reviews it received from critics. Despite these challenges, Morbius was number one at the box office for its debut.
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Sadly, despite this promising start, Morbius’ box office earnings dropped by 73.9% its second weekend. Sony had big plans for Morbius’ future, as the film was meant to help set up a long-awaited Sinister Six movie, along with possible crossovers between the Morbius and Venom characters. However, the unwanted record it set among Marvel movies may cause Sony to alter some of those plans.
Morbius’ Box Office Had A Marvel Movie’s Biggest Second Weekend Drop
Morbius broke an unwanted record by having the biggest box office drop of any Marvel comic film adaptation in its second weekend. After a successful opening, its earnings fell from $84 million to only $9.9 million the following weekend. This beat the previous record holder, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which had fallen by 71.5% for its second weekend. To further contextualize this failing, the infamous 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, which also performed poorly both critically and commercially, had only dropped by 68.2 percent from its premiere to week two. However, Fantastic Four also had a smaller opening weekend than Morbius, thus making its fall less significant. After such a long wait for Morbius to release, and such an encouraging start in theaters, these numbers are a great disappointment.
Why Morbius’ Box Office Dropped By So Much
Several factors likely contributed to Morbius’ underwhelming second weekend at the box office. The negative Morbius reviews from critics undoubtedly played a role, as Morbius only has a 16% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing. Numerous reviewers have lamented the movie’s poor pacing and confusing story, which the impressive cast was unable to save. The mystery surrounding Morbius’ shared universe was apparently enough to entice people opening weekend despite these reviews—at least those interested in discovering how Morbius connects to Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and the larger MCU. These questions have largely been solved with news circulating widely and quickly online, likely discouraging those who only wanted to see the film for these reasons.
The timing of its theatrical release also did not do the movie any favors. Morbius premiered worldwide on April 1, forced to compete with other high profile films later in the month. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 released the following weekend to great success both critically and financially, and the long-awaited Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore premieres the week after. Both of these movies have put Morbius’ future in jeopardy, since moviegoers will now have to choose between them when going to the theater.
Related: Who Is Spider-Man In Morbius’ Universe
Is Morbius Going To Be A Box Office Failure?
Morbius’ earnings have dropped a lot, but that does not necessarily mean it will be a box office failure. It’s difficult to know with certainty either way, but with a reported budget of between $75 and $83 million, the movie still has a chance of breaking even financially. This budget does not account for marketing expenses, or how international profits will be divided up, both of which will affect the final profit numbers a great deal. Yet despite these factors, and Morbius’ poor reviews, the film’s connections to other Sony and MCU franchises may be able to draw in enough attention to ensure that Morbius is not deemed a complete commercial failure. Of course, simply breaking even is far from the success story that Sony had aimed for, but it at least suggests that the Morbius character may still remain relevant in future Sony Spider-verse projects.
Will Morbius’ Box Office Change Sony’s Spider-Man Universe Plans?
Morbius’ underwhelming box office earnings likely won’t change Sony’s Spider-Man universe plans — at least not too much. Both Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage have been successful films, ensuring that Eddie Brock won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Kraven the Hunter, about another Spider-Man villain, is already filming, and Madame Web is in pre-production as well. Despite Morbius’ disappointing performance, a Sinister Six movie is surely still going to happen. Sony has been trying to set up the Sinister Six ever since Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man movies, and the abrupt cancellation of that franchise in order to reboot Spider-Man for the MCU derailed these plans. Although Morbius’ performance makes a sequel unlikely, it might make other projects even more possible, such as a return for Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
Although the Morbius director has not directly confirmed which Spider-Man shares the film’s universe, there are several hints pointing toward Garfield’s Spider-Man in the movie. One such example is a headline in “The Daily Bugle” about the villain Rhino, who Spider-Man fought at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and another hint is the Oscorp Tower logo, which shares the same design in both films. Spider-Man: No Way Home had revived interest in both a continuation of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy and Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man movies, and if the Morbius director has his way, then Garfield will be suiting up as the character once more to finally finish his cancelled story as well as allow for the hero to face off against a number of iconic villains.
Next: Why Morbius’ Box Office Won’t Derail Sony’s Spider-Man Universe Plans
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About The Author
(147 Articles Published)
Autumn Cejer is a Movie/TV Features Writer for Screen Rant. She has spent her life chatting about popular media to anyone who would listen, even appearing on conference panels to discuss her favorite (and least favorite) shows and movies. Autumn has a Master of Arts in English from Northern Michigan University, where she also taught superhero-themed composition courses. She spends her free time drinking coffee and trying to resist the urge to buy any new books before reading the many she already owns.
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