Note to movie studios: don’t plan re-releases because you’re seeing cool memes
It’s not Morbin’ Time anymore.
The internet is not real life. This pearl of wisdom has revealed itself to be true countless times, but its latest instance involves memes and a movie about a vampiric Marvel villain.
Morbius was resurrected this weekend at the box office. It should have stayed dead, given that it made just $85,000 across 1,037 screens this past Friday. Its total weekend gross was $300,000. For those doing napkin math at home, that’s $289 per theater. Given the average ticket price of $9.57, that means about 31,348 Americans bought tickets to this movie.
Our own review called the “moribund Morbius” a “numbing narrative that’s no-menace and all-premise.” Its $73.3 million domestic take along with $90 million overseas helped propel it to a $163.3 million total gross upon its initial release in April. That’s not a huge success, but given that its reported budget was $75 million, it’s not bad either.
But just why was this springtime dud of a Marvel movie foisted upon the world yet again?
That’s right, internet jokes, the greatest currency of our time. Ever since Morbius hit theaters on April Fool’s Day, it’s been Morbin’ Time on the internet.
The meme started as a play on the Power Rangers’ “It’s morphin’ time!” catchphrase before the movie was even released, since it felt like the trailer for this movie played in theaters for an undead eternity. It only grew from there.
Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) never says “It’s morbin’ time” in the movie, but the joke soon spread quicker than a blood transfusion from a bat. It trended on Twitter for a week after the movie’s release. It caught on more when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came out.
Over on Reddit, the r/moviescirclejerk subreddit spawned its own meme within the meme. #MorbiusSweep references a world in which the movie was a massive critical and commercial success, despite the reality of its modest box office success.
And after all that, Sony decided to send its undead doctor back out into the world. On Friday, Jared Leto even tweeted a video of himself reading a fake Morbius 2 script entitled “Morbius 2: It’s Morbin’ Time.”
What time is it? pic.twitter.com/IuWR72WCc9
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) June 3, 2022
That’s the problem with the internet and irony. An algorithm doesn’t recognize nuance, and a hate-click or an irony-click is still a click. Let’s not hate-watch stuff back into existence.