Morbius sucks (relatively speaking), and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Apparently, I’m supposed to feel bad for poor old Sony and their much-beleaguered Morbius. I mean, sure, not a single person on Earth was asking for a Morbius movie. And, sure, Jared Leto is a notorious creep and mostly terrible actor who must have dirt on casting agents across the industry or something to keep being cast in major films. And, sure, its screenwriters had been responsible for multiple cinematic atrocities prior to this. And, sure, director Daniel Espinosa has never made a single interesting movie. And, sure, it looked like absolute fucking garbage in every single piece of inescapable press material over the two COVID-beset years leading up to its release. But calling a likely turkey from miles off a likely turkey is mean and hurts the poor movie’s feewings! Couldn’t we all just suck it up and let the big multi-million-dollar corporation drop trou right in front of us without mocking them for that, like our parents taught us was the right thing to do?
Well, $39 million worth of people did exactly that to make Morbius your new #1 movie in America almost exclusively by virtue of there being nothing else new playing in cinemas right now. The Morbius Movement would probably take that #1 slot at face value and say this is a vindicating middle-finger to all the haters who insisted that their movie would never amount to anything; their own equivalent of The Flash entering the speed-force! But let’s break down the details behind the numbers to explain why this is actually pretty poor. Firstly, that’s not even the best Sony opening of 2022, coming in a full $5 million under the Uncharted movie from February; already an embarrassment. We’ll do it the dignity of not placing an actual Spider-Man movie next to it for comparison, but you can place either Venom alongside Morbius and still watch the former completely devour the latter whole; Venom 1 opened to $80 million in 2018, whilst Venom 2 famously smashed its way to $90 million last October in major pandemic resurgence times.
Then you look at the dailies and it gets even worse. $17.7 million on the Friday, down to $13.2 million by the Saturday, and $8.6 million on the Sunday. All films drop as a weekend goes on, but that’s over 50% from opening day. Not even Venom 2 ($37.4 million to $20.9 million) or Spider-Man: No Way Home ($121.9 million to $64.2 million) fell over half from opening day and they had significantly bigger premiere performances! Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Cinemascore – which, for those who need reminding, is the exit poll of moviegoers on a film’s opening day, so these are mainly answered by the kinds of people already predisposed to like the film in question – was a miserable “C+.” Not that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was going to have much difficulty stealing the #1 slot next weekend anyway, but this is less ‘blood in the water’ and more ‘blood and internal organs covered in barbeque sauce whilst the bleeder in question loudly rings the dinner bell on themselves.’
Now comes the part where we throw our heads back and laugh! Ready? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
Dr. Mike-Full List-ius, at your service.
US Box Office Results: Friday 1st April 2022 – Sunday 3rd April 2022
$39,100,000 / NEW
The text is always what’s most important in a review. Scores or grades or stickers or however the sites choose to quantify the write-up are arbitrary things which should not be considered with much real weight. Think of them like editorial clickbait, designed to draw a reader such as yourself in to something you otherwise may not have checked out. For example, you may not normally check out a piece of writing about Catch the Fair One, but the 4* attached in the Twitter/Facebook logline may inspire you to give it a read and decide that this film is something you’d like to watch after all. That’s what scores are really for. The text is the metric.
Anyways, Dave Bond gave Morbius 2* which was the same score he gave Spider-Man: No Way Home and you can do what you want with that info.
2] The Lost City
$14,800,428 / $54,581,000
Just over a 50% sophomore weekend drop. Not too bad for a new IP movie banking entirely on two rarely-seen Movie Stars serving an audience demographic still reticent to return to movie. Wish all the promo material hadn’t spoiled the other rarely-seen Movie Star who makes an appearance at some point; that might’ve popped me when I get to watch the film in a few weeks.
3] The Batman
$10,800,000 / $349,000,421
Having not seen Zack Snyder’s Justice League, because I do not have the time or energy to watch a four-hour version of a movie I despised in a franchise whose prior Snyder-proper entries I despised even more, I legitimately have no idea what the fuck “The Flash enters The Speed Force” means. I have read those words over and over again, Kelechi Ehenulo has explained it to me over Skype, and I’ve seen a clip of it. I still have no fucking idea what it is, why it supposedly stuck with people better than any other movie moment of the last 30 years, or how AMPAS and ABC execs didn’t recognise a mile off that something like this was going to happen the instant they introduced a Twitter-voted “Most Cheer-Worthy Moment” category.
What a fucking disgrace the Oscars were this year, seriously.
$3,605,000 / $138,912,735
Jesus Christ, this is a miserable bloody theatrical landscape right now. Give me The Northman already; I’m starving for some interesting cinema, please.
$1,970,000 / $29,693,448
The pro wrestling connoisseur in me should be violently upset that Sami goddamn Zayn is out there jobbing to Johnny Knoxville in comedy matches at WrestleMania. The Jackass fan in me, and the part of me which just enjoys funny things and doesn’t want to be miserable all the time, marked the hell out for the entire thing regardless.
$1,613,000 / $11,113,000
No other proper Wide releases dared to go up against Morbius, probably because they didn’t want to get scolding messages from Hollywood Reporter writers about being meany-boo-beanies, but there were a couple of new Moderate releases which face-planted almost as hard as Jared Let’s-no. Chris Pine starred in STX’s latest flailing effort to make their own John Wick-type mid-budget action franchise with blackjack and hookers and not a single remarkable action sequence, The Contractor, which pulled in an expectedly-terrible $535,000 from 489 screens since this is likely the first you’ve heard of it. Much worse was Focus Features’ arthouse Macedonian horror-drama, You Won’t Be Alone, which could only do a ghastly $125,000 from 147 screens, again likely because this is the first you’ve heard about it.
7] Spider-Man: No Way Home
$1,400,000 / $802,704,167
Who’s still going to see No Way Home after four months in the cinema?! I want to place these people under anthropological study. I know that things are pretty bloody dire right now, but sheesh!
$1,318,718 / $60,138,100
I know what you’re thinking. Did Leslie Byron Pitt fire six shots or only five? Truth be told, in the chaos of writing up a fiftieth anniversary piece on Dirty Harry, he lost track himself. So, you gotta ask yourself one question: are you gonna read his work? Well? Are ya, punk?
$1,021,828 / $10,393,078
Sure, a 50th anniversary is all well and good. But you know what’s even cooler? A 100th anniversary! Such is the fate of iconic silent-horror classic Nosferatu which is getting a pristine restoration and special event cinema re-releases this year courtesy of the BFI. Lee Thacker’s been to see if the film holds up. (Yes, it does, obviously.)
10] Everything Everywhere All at Once
$1,011,980 / $1,759,060
Going into Wide release this coming weekend, but the Daniels’ latest broke into the Top 10 early entirely off the back of 38 theatres; 28 more than last weekend, and an exceptional $26,631 per-theatre average which is bigger than the rest of the Top 10 combined. WHY DOES THIS NOT HAVE A UK RELEASE PLAN YET?! DO UK DISTRIBUTORS HATE ASIAN/ASIAN-AMERICAN MOVIES OR SOMETHING?!
Dropped out: Sing 2, Infinite Storm