What hath irony wrought?
That’s the questions on our mind tonight, after reports—including one from our sister site Gizmodo—that Morbius is coming back to theaters this weekend, a surprising move that studio Sony has confirmed, but not deigned to explain to us mere non-living-vampires.
Although we don’t have exact numbers, we can confirm through a trawl of Fandango that the Jared Leto-starring film has been booked for one or two showings a day in major movie markets across the United States for the next week, starting on Friday, June 3—despite the fact that, per Box Office Mojo, it was down to just 83 screens total over Memorial Day weekend, bringing in a paltry $35,360 in the process.
We’ve got our fingers crossed that this is some sort of weird procedural move from Sony, possibly as an effort to goose the film’s domestic box office just a bit before it leaves theaters for good. (The movie did quite a bit better in global markets than in the U.S.; as is, its Stateside numbers are trailing a few million behind its budget, which was reportedly in the $75 million range.) Because the alternative is that all those damn Morbius memes have had a real impact on a major studio’s film programming logic, which is a very depressing thought.
Oh, don’t play coy: You know exactly which memes we meme. Morbius has become the Shrek of modern superhero films that are also somehow vampire movies of late, inspiring legions of online fans to flood Twitter with the word “Morb” in defiance of God and all rational sense. There’ve already been hoaxes surrounding a possible Morbius 2; it’s not hard, in that context, to see this theatrical return as a trial balloon by Sony to see if all those weird Twitch streams and low-res GIFs amount to any kind of real-world cash.
The real issue is that Morbius really doesn’t seem to deserve any of this—and we don’t necessarily mean that in a sympathetic or complimentary sense. The majority of reviews for the film have noted that it would actually be considerably better if it operated at the level of camp or sheer ineptitude that its online reputation might suggest; instead, it’s mostly been drubbed as a fairly boring, surprisingly boilerplate version of mid-tier superhero cinema. (If nothing else, it’s hard to imagine there isn’t infinitely more creativity to be found in the hordes of Morbius memes on the internet than the actual film.)
Anyway: We regret to inform you that it is, somehow *sigh*…Morbin’ time once again. Prepare yourselves accordingly.