A few weeks ago we were talking about how well ‘Morbius’ had done at the box office: 84 million dollars in collections worldwide, 39.1 of them in the United States, recovering its entire budget. But that was in his first week. Seven days later, ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ nearly replicated the success of this Spider-Man spin-off, grossing $71 million. Consequence: ‘Morbius’ collapses in its second weekend, down no less than 73.9%: 10.2 million dollars.
It’s not just Sonic’s fault. The truth is that the absolute imbalance between the monstrous collection of the first weekend and the almost unanimous negative reception from the press was surprising (and that is why it was news). But the second weekend was responsible for balancing the balance a bit, possibly also due to word of mouth that spread the word that the thing was not to shoot rockets either. This sudden drop in the second weekend box office has only one precedent: Shaquille O’Neal’s terrible DC superhero movie ‘Steel’.
The third weekend the disaster was final, with the film going to sixth place in the ranking with a drop in revenue of 54%. The result, with almost 150 million raised against a budget of 83, cannot be considered exactly a financial failure, but it is an image failure for Sony, and one that sets a dangerous precedent for superhero movies. Have you finally found the genre that seemed unbeatable your Achilles heel?
The vampires pay the price. The curious thing about the situation is that this relative failure is not going to affect the torrent of superhero movies that await us in the coming months. ‘Morbius’ will remain as an isolated disaster that, at most, will force Sony to rethink whether Kraven the Hunter or Sinister Six movies are worth it if they are made with as much reluctance as this one. Even the career of Jared Leto (the main target of the darts that critics have launched against the film) could be impacted by the weak result of ‘Morbius’. But no. This time, he has touched the vampires.
First victim: Karyn Kusama. The unclassifiable author of extremely interesting pieces such as ‘Jennifer’s Body’, ‘The Invitation’ or ‘Destroyer’ was preparing a version of ‘Dracula’ for Blumhouse, with which the producer intended to continue the success of ‘The Invisible Man’, unearthing Universal’s gothic horror classics. The title of it, following in the footsteps of the latter, was going to be ‘Mina Harker’ and it was going to tell the story from the perspective of the vampire count’s victim. Miramax, co-producer of the project, has decided to distance itself from the film by surprise, and Blumhouse has canceled it a few weeks before the start of filming.
Second victim: Robert Eggers. His eternally postponed remake of the classic ‘Nosferatu’ seems to drag the jinx, and he has declared in an interview for IndieWire that pre-production has already been stopped twice, the last one very recently. Eggers was going to have the star of his acclaimed debut ‘The Witch’, Anya Taylor-Joy, in the film again, but from his words it is deduced that the project seems to have stopped again, and this sudden vampire phobia of the industry could Have to see.
Aiming at the wrong target. Just like told the tweeter Brainchild129the really amazing thing about the situation is that from a film in which there are so many issues to criticize -the main one being that it was injected into a franchise by force to get a slice-, the conclusion drawn by the majors it’s about vampires. And therefore, we must cut the production of films with vampires on board.
It’s hilarious that what studios took away from Morbius was not “maybe a barely related spin-off based around a second-tier Spiderman villain starring a really obnoxious actor is a bad idea” but instead “NO ONE WANTS VAMPIRE MOVIES, CANCEL ALL THE VAMPIRE MOVIES.” https://t.co/oq1aTv7yoE
— Brainchild129 (@brainchild129) April 20, 2022
It is a hasty and absurd decision that, luckily, is far from ending the subgenre. The stimulating ‘The Last Voyage of Demeter’ is still in the pipeline, focusing on a very specific episode of Bram Stoker’s novel and featuring Javier Botet in the cast. And of course ‘Renfield’, with none other than Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula. But of course: a Nic project is not thrown away by even the most clueless of Hollywood executives.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism