It’s Not Morbin’ Time Anymore

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?

Memes.

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.

Morbin Time

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.

Morbin Time

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.”

 

But all of that wasn’t enough to propel Morbius to further greatness, and it flopped hard. For context, Top Gun: Maverick nearly made more in one weekend than this movie made in its entire release.

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.

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Jake Harris

Jake Harris is a Texas-based journalist whose writing about pop culture and entertainment has appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Nashville Scene and more. You can find more of his writings at jakeharrisbog.com or through his pop culture newsletter, Jacob's Letter.

One thought on “It’s Not Morbin’ Time Anymore

  • June 7, 2022 at 8:36 pm
    Permalink

    Screw that noise. Hate watching videos is a lot of fun. I don’t believe you’ve watched much YouTube lately. Or maybe your “hate clicks” have altered the YouTube algorithm.

    Reply

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