While fan and critical reactions to Morbius have been weaker than a vampire in daylight, the long-delayed film led the box office with an estimated $39.1 million.
Jared Leto’s portrayal of “The Living Vampire” (who has been busy hawking signed and limited edition Morbius merch on his personal website) didn’t impress ticket buyers or critics with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 17% and a horrific C+ CinemaScore (the second lowest grade by opening weekend viewers for a Marvel adaptation, trailing only 2015’s Fantastic Four). And while no one can be happy with those metrics, $40 million for a D.O.A. film in North America markets can’t be seen as a total disaster for a film with a reported 75$ budget before promotional costs.
The trouble for Michael Morbius will rear its fangs over the course of April, when competition gets stiffer and negative word of mouth will most likely drop Morbius 65% or more next weekend. International box office could help Morbius stay afloat, but all but ultra-blockbusters have had difficulty finding footing overseas in a post-pandemic world.
The Batman earned another $10.8 million this weekend, coming close to crossing the $350 million domestic mark, with its eyes set on reaching the rarefied air of DC films that have earned over $400 million stateside. The Batman currently sits in fourth place all time for DC properties (don’t tell Snyder-verse fans), trailing only The Dark Knight ($534.9 million), Dark Knight Rises ($448.1 million) and Wonder Woman ($412.8 million).
April looks to be a busy month, with the potential for a lot of volatility and switching of positions on the box office chart, with Sonic 2, Ambulance, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, The Northman, and Memory.