MarvelBlog News for April 4th, 2022
This week, the universe gifted Marvel fans with a new movie AND a new television series. One of the gifts was a lot better than the other, though; so, Let’s talk about the good, the bad, and the ugliness that is Morbius’ critical reviews in the latest MarvelBlog News.
That’s…Okay, I Guess
At various times in my life, I’ve been one of the foremost box office analysts in the world. And I also like Marvel.
So, my fandom is fighting something of a pitched battle with my logic as I peruse the box office numbers for Morbius.
That being said, MarvelBlog News this week kicks off with the latest film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe opened in theaters this weekend, and it did…fine.
We’re not really using the pandemic as an excuse any longer since Spider-Man: No Way Home absolutely destroyed the box office.
Yes, you could argue that The Batman’s international box office has been deflated some. That’s a splitting of hairs, though.
Comic movies have done exceptionally well at the box office. But, unfortunately, this weekend, Morbius…didn’t.
The film earned an estimated $39.1 million this weekend in North America. That’s less than half of what Venom: Let There Be Carnage managed.
Now, you could argue that sequels should do substantially better, but a factor of 2.3 better is a LOT.
I mean, Venom also opened to $80 million in 2018. So instead, we’re looking at an opening weekend that’s staring up at Daredevil.
That title opened to $40.3 million…in 2003. So there’s just no good news here for Sony, at least domestically.
If you want some light at the end of the tunnel, Morbius did manage $45 million overseas. That brought its opening weekend total to $84 million worldwide.
I don’t mean to nitpick, but the film’s production budget is $83 million.
After advertising costs and the expenses of shelving the film throughout the pandemic, it probably needs at least $350 million to break even.
Of course, that’s the small potatoes part of the picture. Sony’s ambitions here reach much higher in scope.
Let’s Talk about Morbius’ Quality
Film quality is subjective. If you doubt that, please remember that some sad souls spent February and March rigging the Oscars.
Their end goal was awards recognition for Zack Snyder’s Justice League debacle, a film that didn’t even come out during the qualifying period.
All they managed to do was Boaty McBoatface two Twitter polls and thereby earn Disney and the Academy Awards a lot of money in ad sponsorship.
Keeping that in mind, we do use some metrics to identify the overall quality of various films. Rotten Tomatoes scores and Cinemascores usually do the trick.
I mentioned the other day that critics were likely to hate Morbius. Sony signaled this fact by blocking out film reviews until the day the movie opened.
Sure enough, Morbius’ Rotten Tomatoes score is aggressively awful at just 17 percent. As I type this, only 32 critics have given Morbius the ol’ thumbs up.
Also, some of those 32 “positive” reviews are lukewarm at best. Only seven of them come from the site’s Top Critics section as well. So the news here ain’t great.
As for the Cinemascore, it sounds…tolerable. But, in reality, it’s an “avert your eyes!” grade.
Morbius earned a disastrous C+ on a scale where a B+ is pretty lousy.
IndieWire accurately pointed out that it’s the second-lowest Cinemascore ever for a Marvel movie. The only thing worse was the 2015 Fantastic Four debacle.
Morbius featured a trailer that gives away the fact that Michael Keaton’s Vulture is in the film.
Sony covets the thought of building up to a Sinister Six movie wherein Venom, Vulture, Morbius, and Kraven the Hunter fight Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
The early results from Morbius don’t destroy that plan, but this is definitely a step in the wrong direction after the enjoyable Venom sequel.
Do better, Sony.
About Moon Knight…
Don’t let the sadness overwhelm you. This MarvelBlog News update isn’t all doom scrolling!
On the contrary, Disney+ brought a little light into all our lives with the introduction of Moon Knight.
Reviews of the project border on rapturous. Oscar Isaac’s dual performance in the series – if I can even call it that – has left critics spellbound.
Notably, Marvel has faced a batch of review spammers due to acknowledging an atrocity committed due to World War I.
Sadly, that’s become standard operating procedure for Marvel titles.
The same people who Twitter vote for Zack Snyder – a nice man, by the way – decry Marvel for mentioning things that actually happened in human history.
For this reason, Moon Knight’s IMDb score looks artificially low. As I type this, it’s sitting at 7.5 out of 10 for a show that should be in the low- to mid-8s.
The Awards Season Debate
Even so, this week MarvelBlog News must highlight the fact that everyone at Marvel must be beaming over the critical reception to the pilot.
People are already championing Isaac as an awards contender for his role, something rare in the MCU to date.
I should mention that WandaVision did win three Emmys last year. However, two were for technical awards, Marvel’s strong suit.
The other went to Agatha All Along for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.
Some had speculated – and I was one of them – that Kathryn Hahn would win for her portrayal of Agatha Harkness.
The marvelous actress did receive a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress, but she ultimately lost to Julianne Nicholson.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Olsen earned an Emmy nomination but didn’t win, which still irks me a year later. But then again, she did lose to Kate Winslet, who is…pretty good.
Anyway, the point is that the MCU’s various television series haven’t performed well at the Emmys yet. The belief is that Oscar Isaac will change that.
Friends, please understand that people are saying this even though many of them haven’t watched the entire season yet.
During the next five weeks, you should treasure every new episode. Marvel has something special here. Sony with Morbius…not so much.
That’s your MarvelBlog News for April 4th, have an incredible rest of your week everyone!