Morbius Returned To Theaters, Thanks To Social Media Buzz, But Things Didn't Go As Planned

Jared Leto as Morbius in Morbius
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Ever since it was released, Jared Leto’s Morbius has been receiving an unusual amount of attention in the form of social media memes. Sometimes, the stem from Matt Smith’s bizarre dances in the film (one of which he performs after turning into a vampire). Other times, the lean into the idea of Morbin Time, a concept that Morbius fans – well, “fans” – dreamed up that really has stuck on Twitter and TikTok. Sensing an opportunity to capitalize on the buzz, Sony put Morbius back into theaters over the weekend, aiming to add more to the film’s domestic take. And they did… just, not as much as they likely were hoping to do.

Going up against the juggernaut that is Top Gun: Maverick, which won the box office weekend for its second frame and stacked up enormous amounts of cash, Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius managed a measly $300,000 across 1,037 theaters, amounting to $289 per location (according to The Numbers). The rerelease wasn’t able to crack the Top 10, and finished behind the new David Cronenberg and Kristen Stewart film Crimes of the Future, Sandra Bullock’s The Lost City (in its 11th weekend), and Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of Dumbledore… which is available to stream on HBO Max.

Morbius deserves more than that. While our own Eric Eisenberg hated the movie and said so in his review, the film is far better than the Rotten Tomatoes score suggests, which is why the Critics’ score is 17%, and the audience rating is 71%. Perhaps Sony was hoping that the hype that Morbius gets on social media would translate into tickets sold, even if people were heading back to theaters to goof on the movie. But the numbers suggest that people chose to stay home. 

That didn’t stop Morbius’ online army from mobilizing in the face of the rerelease. Even better, Morbius star Jared Leto played along, suggesting that he was reading a script for a sequel when he got caught on camera.

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It doesn’t look good for a Morbius sequel. Even after the rerelease, the Spider-Man spinoff film, which is part of Sony’s larger Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (or SPUMC), sits at $73.6 million in the U.S., and $163 million worldwide. This is a massive downturn from the $856 million earned by Venom in 2018, and the $501 million earned by Venom: Let There Be Carnage worldwide. These numbers could be troubling for Sony as they seek to establish a separate universe that doesn’t have Spider-Man in it. 

Sony’s next effort in that universe will be Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web, aiming for a 2023 release date. If you are unfamiliar with the character, we made a list of interesting facts about her. We also dove into some speculation on who Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney might be playing in the movie. Let’s just hope Sony makes a great movie, so the SPUMC can get back on track.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.