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Morbius returns to cinemas, bombs at the box office (again)

Morbius, starring Jared Leto, was a sensational flop for Sony, but the memes around it made the distributor try its luck again in theatres

morbin time

The #SummerofMorbius may finally be dead in the water, with Sony proving that you should never try to capitalise on a meme, no matter how popular it might seem on social media.

When the critically-reviled Morbius was initially released in theatres on April 1, 2022 (the jokes just write itself), it had a lacklustre performance at the box office, earning a $39 million opening weekend in the US. For context, this is even less than the opening for Nicolas Cage movie Ghostrider, which amassed $45 million back in 2007.

However, with the spectacular failure of Morbius becoming a meme on social media, with shitposters declaring the thriller movie made a ‘morbillion’ dollars, the film became the subject of an ironic Discord server (with users calling themselves ‘morbheads’), and fabricated catchphrases from the film such as “It’s Morbin’ time” (a play on the Power Rangers phrase “It’s Morphin’ time”) trending on Twitter for over a week. But despite the level of ironic fanfare around Morbius, this did not translate into ticket sales.

A hopeful Sony re-released the film into a select number of theatres, but it bombed even worse than the first time round, with the action movie only grossing $85,000 on Friday. This is an average of $82 per theatre, with Forbes reporting that Morbius made $280,000 in total over the weekend.

Killing it for everyone completely, Jared Leto even got in on the joke, with a Twitter video showing him reading a script entitled, ‘Morbius 2: It’s Morbin’ Time.’ But if the internet has taught us anything, it’s to not kid a kidder.