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Morbius Overcomes Awful Reviews To Win The Weekend At The Box Office

Jared Leto's Morbius with sharp teeth bared
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

When Josh Trank's Fantastic Four arrived in theaters back in 2015, its box office performance was synchronous with the absolutely dreadful critical response. The would be blockbuster, which had a troubled production and a reported budget of $120 million, opened with a lackluster $25.7 million take, and it ended up only making $167.8 million worldwide by the time it was done playing on the big screen. 

Such a fate has seemingly not struck Daniel Espinosa's Morbius this past weekend, however, as the comic book movie has survived a critical drubbing and had a modestly successful debut at the box office. Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

Morbius Weekend Box Office April 1-3, 2022

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

TITLEWEEKEND GROSSDOMESTIC GROSSLWTHTRS
1. Morbius*$39,100,000 $39,100,000 4,268
2. The Lost City$14,800,000 $54,580,572 14,283
3. The Batman$10,800,000 $349,000,421 23,732
4. Uncharted$3,605,000 $138,912,735 43,064
5. Spider-Man: No Way Home$1,400,000 $802,704,167 81,705
6. Dog$1,318,718 $60,138,100 72,053
7. X$1,021,828 $10,393,078 61,799
8. Everything Everywhere All At Once$1,011,980 $1,759,060 1338
9. Sing 2$830,000 $161,744,370 92,095
10. Infinite Storm$278,478 $1,386,055 101,509

Morbius Just Had The Third Biggest Opening Weekend Of 2022 Thus Far

Film critics (admittedly including myself) tore Morbius a new one following the lift of the review embargo last week, but the terrible buzz evidently wasn't enough to undermine the popularity of modern comic book movies. Reporting from before the release of reactions put box office estimates between $33 million and $50 million, and the results are a midpoint between those numbers.

A take of $39.1 million means that Morbius has had the third biggest opening weekend of the years, with the numbers being just big enough to beat out Aaron and Adam Nee's The Lost City, which made $31 million in its debut last week. It fell short of surpassing the total put up by Ruben Fleischer's Uncharted back in February, the video game adaptation starring Tom Holland having made $44 million in its first three days, and it came nowhere close to matching Matt Reeves' The Batman, which earned $134 million at the start of last month.

When you add in the overseas ticket sales for Morbius, the film has already earned more than its $75 million reported budget (though that number not only tends to be conservative, but doesn't include marketing and publicity costs). Theaters abroad have seen the comic book movie earn $44.9 million thus far, bringing the Sony release's total to $84 million, according to The Numbers.

Jared Leto as non-vampire Morbius

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The big question mark when looking at Morbius' performance thus far is sustainability and legs. There are a lot of comic book movie fans who commit to seeing every new blockbuster in its opening weekend, but long term success for the new release is going to depend on those who are on the fence about seeing it, and the word of mouth that is generated. 

Should the non-committed folks decide that the negative reviews are enough to make them reconsider purchasing a ticket and just waiting for the eventual release on Netflix, that could have a devastating impact on Morbius' second weekend. A weekend-to-weekend to drop over 60 percent would be a big hurt. 

Another key factor here is competition, and the reality is that the new Sony movie isn't in a particularly comfortable position. Most of the biggest films thus far in 2022 have had what could be called buffer weeks in the release calendar, with major studios holding off on putting out features in the wake of big blockbusters (The Batman and Uncharted being the best examples). 

Morbius doesn't have that luxury. Rather than facing off against zero new major releases in its second weekend, its instead going to be going head to head with Jeff Fowler's Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Michael Bay's Ambulance. A sub-$20 million third place finish isn't outside the realm of possibility for the current #1 Movie In America in its second Friday-to-Sunday.

The Lost City Has A Solid Second Weekend, Eclipses $50 Million Domestically

Staying on the subject of second weekends, The Lost City performed admirably even while losing its box office crown. The $14.8 million it earned is 51 percent of the aforementioned $31 million it made during its opening, and it means that the romantic comedy has now earned $54.6 million to date. 

It hasn't yet quite covered its reported $68 million budget (via Variety), but it also hasn't gotten a full international release yet, and by the end of its run it's easy to imagine that Paramount will consider it a hit. It's the studio's third success story of the year after Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's Scream was a win in January and Jeff Tremaine's Jackass Forever hit number one in February. The forthcoming release of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is almost surely going to be their fourth.

Everything Everywhere All At Once Is Crushing In Limited Release

Whole Morbius will be getting the vast majority of box office headlines this weekend, what is arguably the most exciting story developing in the reporting is the amazing success of Daniels' Everything Everywhere All At Once. The A24-released feature didn't make it on to the Top 10 in its debut last weekend because it only made $501,305... but that was from just 10 theaters nationwide.

The critically-acclaimed multiverse action-comedy expanded to 38 locations this weekend, and that small addition proved to be all it needed to get on the chart. The $1 million it made in the last three days is an average of $26,631 per screen, which is just remarkable. If it can maintain buzz and momentum as its release gets wider and wider, it very well could end up being one of A24's biggest hits. You can check Fandango to see if its presently playing in a cineplex near you (and if you haven't already seen it yet and can, you absolutely should).

Looking ahead to next week, audiences will have a lot of options to choose from between the current slate of releases as well as the family friendly adventure of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and the R-rated action of Ambulance. The diverse competition should result in some fascinating box office results, so be sure to return here to CinemaBlend next Sunday to see how everything shakes out.

In the meantime, you can look at what's ahead from the world of movies (both theatrical and streaming) by heading over to our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.