What's the deal with the Morbius re-release?
Updated: Jun 9, 2022
It's Morbin Time!!! Again
I, much like everyone else, hoped and prayed that Morbius time was over, imagine my horror then when I found out it was coming to cinemas again (not that it actually ever left my local one).
Morbius is back in cinemas after two months of being the subject of internet ridicule all over the world. Morbius has been trending almost daily, which might sound like a studio's dream, but this was far from a dream. For Sony it was a nightmare, one that they wildly misinterpreted. Sony, and more recently Jared Leto, seem to have taken the endless memes as genuine praise and a sign that Morbius is a cult classic, which might be true in the same way that The Room is. Essentially the internet has managed to fool an entire movie studio into believing that we want more of what is one of the worst financially performing movies of the year.
Let's talk numbers: Morbius initially had a budget of $75 million, marketing is ordinarily roughly the same as the film's budget so that would put it at $150 million. Then we have to factor in the extensive reshoots plus money lost due to covid delays. It's very likely that all in all Morbius cost Sony near enough $200 million, which is an awful lot of money to have spent when you consider the end product. Morbius then made back $163 million in its first box office run, so it didn't even really break even to begin with. More(bius) will have then been spent on redistributing the movie to theaters and remarketing it for its second release, however this likely didn't cost enough to really factor into the budget. The re-release will obviously have been done in the hope of turning a profit second time round with morbillions (a popular meme) of fans desperate to see it again. Sony couldn't have been more disappointed, in its second shot at an opening weekend Morbius made $86,000 (no that's not a typo) which makes an average of $82 per cinema. I cannot stress enough how ridiculous $82 per cinema is. Embarrassing.
The Morbius re-release will go down as one of the most embarrassing attempts at fan service from a movie studio of all time. Although in a way it proved hugely successful because I'm sure all ten Morbius fans were happy with the fact that they got to see it again.
So will Morbius be getting a sequel?
Morbius was closer than ever to having a sequel greenlit but it seems that Sony decided to test the waters first to see if there was long-standing fan demand... There isn't. Based on the hilariously poor performance of Morbius both critically and financially it's pretty safe to say that a sequel isn't currently on the cards despite the painful attempts (looking at you Michael Keaton post-credits) to set it up as a mainstay in the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (SPUMC to give it its official acronym).
To me what this shows is that fans are finally willing to pushback against the increasingly greedy studios by actively hindering a films financial performance, we can only hope that movies such as Aquaman 2 receive the same treatment. Whether the studios will listen remains to be seen. Sony seem intent on pushing cashgrab after cashgrab with Kraven up next while both DC and Sony seem to be sticking fast with their use of widely alleged and known abusers of various kinds (Morbius and Aquaman both being prime examples of this). In an ideal world this would be the best way to confront these issues, if the fans stop seeing the movies they put out the studios will eventually get the message.
If you are a fan of this whole Morbius thing then maybe instead of going to watch it again you should check out our podcast, in which we discuss it in great depth. It's actually more fun than the movie I think.