The ironic memes have given Morbius a second life at the box office, as Sony will rerelease the film in over 1000 theaters this weekend.
Thanks to memes, Morbius is returning to theaters. Based on the Marvel comic character of the same name, Morbius starring Jared Leto was finally released in theaters on April 1, 2022, after two years of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film was a critical and box office disappointment, grossing $73 million domestically against a reported budget between $75 and $83 million, although worldwide, it did gross $163.3 million.
Yet despite the film’s negative reaction, it became a hit online in the form of memes making fun of the movie, with the phrase “It’s Morbin time” becoming a particularly popular one. Morbius streamed on Twitch for free for twelve hours, and since being released on home video, has become a consistent hit on the sales charts. The ironic memes about the film even resulted in Morbius 2 trending online ,with some hoping this online campaign will get a sequel greenlit.
Sony is now attempting to cash in on the online meme sensation by re-releasing Morbius in theaters this weekend. Comicbook reports that Morbius is being re-released in over 1,000 theaters starting June 3, 2022. Morbius’s re-release arrives on a rather slow weekend at the box office, with the only major releases being David Cronenberg’s Crime of the Future in limited release and the IFC Midnight film Watcher.
Re-releasing Morbius makes a certain amount of sense, as Sony did it with both Spider-Man: Far From Home over the Labor Day weekend back in 2019, and Venom: Let There Be Carnage returned to theaters in January after Morbius was delayed to help cash in on the recent box office success of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Sony’s decision on Morbius is bound to raise some eyebrows as online memes and buzz does not translate to box office, as was the case in 2006 with the release of Snakes on a Plane. The choice is likely an attempt to push Morbius just a couple of million dollars up so it can claim it made its budget back.
While Sony may not greenlight Morbius 2, the sheer amount of memes about Morbius, ironic or not, is sure to catch the studio’s attention and likely will bring the character back as a supporting player in another film. Venom: Let There Be Carnage incorporated more of the comedy that made the first Venom film a hit, so if Morbius does return to this shared universe, there is a good chance the studio will embrace the memes around the character and try to make that a selling point. It is safe to say though this weekend, Morbius won’t take the number 1 spot at the box office from Top Gun: Maverick.
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