By Charlotte Berg
Morbius, starring Jared Leto, has been receiving incredibly mixed reviews and making fun of the movie has quickly become an internet trend. Released on April 1st, the film grossed 84 million globally on box office opening weekend, surpassing its 75 million dollar budget. While this may initially seem impressive, its competition superhero movie, The Batman, grossed 248.5 million opening weekend; more than doubling Morbius’ sales. However, it is important to note that the earning of the movie does not dictate the quality. While Morbius is a superhero movie, it is a stand alone film from Sony Pictures, and not a Marvel film. Marvel and Sony partnered up back in 2017 for Spider-Man: Homecoming, but the companies went their separate ways in 2021. While some people may feel that Sony’s breakup caused Morbius‘ failure, Sony produced both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman films, which did exceptionally well.
So who exactly is Morbius? In short, Morbius is a vampire supervillain. Created by writer Roy Thomas, he made his comic book debut in “The Amazing Spider-man #101” back in 1971. Dr. Michael Morbius was born with a blood disease and turned into a vampire due to a failed experiment. However, Morbius (2022) is interesting because it actually paints Dr. Morbius as the hero who is actively seeking to reverse the monster he created.
As usual, social media has turned Morbius into a meme. Specifically Twitter and TikTok, the hashtag “#morbiussweep” is currently trending as to make fun of both the film’s depressing gross income, and the lack of hype and anticipation surrounding its release. Users are creating satirical memes claiming that Morbius was the first film to earn a trillion dollars opening weekend, and that it is rating 170% on Rotten Tomatoes. The internet criticism can also be traced back to the disdain towards Sony after its Marvel drama. Many Marvel fans call Sony greedy, and are still slightly bitter that Spiderman will never appear in another “Avengers” movie.
Besides its underwhelming earnings, the biggest blow to Sony would be that the movie ended on a cliffhanger. This was obviously supposed to be a segway into a Morbius 2, and an attempt to keep audiences engaged and interested in the future of Morbius. The problem isn’t even that audiences “hate” Morbius, it’s that they aren’t at all interested in it. People “hate watch” movies all the time. Ticket sales equal money, it doesn’t matter the reason for the purchase. Besides the internet memes, no one is talking about this movie, which is why the internet may actually be Morbius’ saving grace. People are joking about the movie, which means they are talking about it. Internet users will go see the movie solely to understand the joke. While it might hurt the director’s feelings, this could actually end up not being such a bad loss for Sony. Hopefully this trend lasts at least another week, but with the rate that internet trends cycle now, only time will tell.