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Why did Morbius’ box office outperform the negative reviews

Despite its poor reviews, Morbius was able to take the top spot at the box office. How did it do it, and how can it use that to its advantage?

This is how Morbius’ box office was able to outperform its negative reviews. Despite the negative press surrounding the film, Morbius took first place in its opening weekend at the box office. Morbius was able to accomplish this for a variety of reasons, but the real question is how well it will perform in the future.

Even before it was released, Morbius was met with scepticism. Because it was a standalone film about a relatively unknown Spider-Man antagonist that wouldn’t even feature Spider-Man, there was an air of superfluousness surrounding the Marvel Comics adaptation from the start. And, following his poor performance as the Joker in Suicide Squad, Jared Leto’s casting as the titular Morbius wasn’t seen as a vote of confidence in the film’s quality. Morbius was met with a largely negative reception after its release, with fans and critics alike criticising its story, characters, visual effects, and the confusing ways in which it tries to connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, among other things.

Despite the negative reviews, Morbius was still able to open at the top of the box office. Given that Morbius is a Marvel superhero film, it would have been strange if it didn’t take the top spot in its opening weekend, but there are a number of factors to consider for how it was able to pull it off after being written off so quickly. Simultaneously, it’s critical to consider whether Morbius will be able to maintain its momentum and either become a box office success or, at the very least, break even.

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Why Are Morbius’ Reviews So Negative?

Morbius
Morbius

When Morbius was released, it received a universally negative response from critics, and the reasons for this aren’t unfounded. Many reviewers thought the story and characters were uninspired and uninteresting, and the visual effects were too cheap to be overlooked. All of these were criticisms that people had based solely on the initial trailers, and the fact that the final product did nothing to address them only exacerbated them.

However, one of the most vexing issues was Morbius’ attempt to connect to the MCU. There has been a lot of speculation about how Morbius will connect to the MCU since the first trailer showed Michael Keaton’s Vulture. Vulture was accidentally sent to Morbius’ universe via the spell Doctor Strange cast at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, according to the Morbius post-credits scenes.

He tracks down Morbius and proposes that they form a team, most likely to create a film adaptation of the Sinister Six. Not only does the reveal appear to be completely inconsistent with how Doctor Strange’s spell worked in No Way Home, but Vulture also assumes Spider-Man is to blame and doesn’t express any concern for his family, both of which contradict the character as he was portrayed in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

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While the Venom films largely manage to subvert this criticism, Morbius fully embraces it due to poor plotting and visuals. The possibility of the ending being used to set up the Sinister Six doesn’t help matters either, as it means more movies with Spider-Man characters who aren’t interacting with Spider-Man, with no way of knowing if the payoff will be clear and consistent.

It’s eerily similar to how The Amazing Spider-Man 2 set up sequels and spinoffs at the expense of the main story, so it’s understandable that Morbius would be chastised for doing the same thing.

Why Morbius’ Box Office Survived Its Negative Reviews

Morbius
Morbius

Despite the odds being stacked against it, Morbius managed to take first place at the box office for its opening weekend, and there are a few theories as to why. The most obvious reason is that Morbius is a superhero film at its core.

Even if a new movie isn’t well-received, it’s likely to be number one at the box office in its opening weekend, given how popular and successful superhero movies have been for the past couple of decades. Not only that, but as previously stated, one of Morbius’ biggest draws was Michael Keaton’s cameo as Vulture and the speculation surrounding how it would play out, so even if someone had no interest in seeing Morbius, it’s possible that they would go see it just to see how it would play out.

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Another possibility is that people went to see Morbius either despite or because of the negative reviews. For the former, it’s possible that some people were simply adamant about seeing the film, regardless of what critics had to say, whether because of the marketing or because they were fans of Morbius in comics or other media.

For the latter, many people enjoy engaging with something just because it’s bad, so Morbius receiving a negative reception would be a boon to that type of audience. While not universal, these factors were also part of the appeal of the Venom films, which did well at the box office despite receiving mixed reviews.

Is Morbius Going To Be A Box Office Hit?

Morbius
Morbius

There are a number of reasons why Morbius was able to draw such a large audience in its first weekend, but it’s highly unlikely that Morbius will be able to maintain that level of popularity in order to become a box office success. While Morbius debuted at number one, it only made around $80 million worldwide, and since box office returns tend to decline week by week, the film’s total box office figure is unlikely to rise significantly over time.

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According to some reports (via Forbes), Morbius would need to gross around $300 million to break even, and with an opening weekend take of only $80 million, it’s hard to see it reaching that level. This is especially true in the coming weeks, when high-profile films like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will divert attention away from Morbius.

Despite its box office success, are Morbius’ negative reviews a problem?

Morbius
Morbius

Despite its poor reviews, Morbius was able to take first place at the box office, but the film’s poor reception is likely to be a problem in the future. Because of the negative reactions to Morbius, which began even before its release, the majority of the discussion surrounding the film will most likely be dominated by people complaining about how bad it is.

As a result, anyone who hasn’t seen it yet is likely to be persuaded to do so. One of the film’s biggest draws — the mystery of the Vulture ending up in Morbius’ universe — has been heavily publicised at this point, which doesn’t help matters. Anyone who is only interested in the MCU connection can read about it online without having to watch the movie.

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Even the possibility of someone wanting to see Morbius despite or because of its poor reception may not be viable in the future. As previously stated, the Venom films had a similar appeal for many people, but there are significant critical and financial differences between Morbius and the Venom films. While all three films are rated “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage have 30 percent and 58 percent, respectively, while Morbius has a much lower score of 16 percent at the time of writing.

That may be low enough for people to conclude that it isn’t worth bothering with. Adding to that, despite the negative critical reception, both Venom films made over $100 million in their opening weekends, making it relatively easy for them to turn a profit, whereas Morbius will have a harder time doing so, having only made around $80 million in its opening weekend.

Despite its poor reviews, Morbius did not fail at the box office right away, but it will be extremely difficult for the film to succeed now. The factors that drove people away from Jared Leto’s Morbius will linger for as long as the film is in theatres, and the few things that drew them in will only be able to do so much in the future. Morbius will most likely be seen as another example of Sony mishandling their Spider-Man brand when they aren’t working with the MCU, given the current state of affairs.

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