Sony has decided to move the release date for Morbius from January 28, 2022, to April 1, 2022, in lieu of rising Omnicron cases. The film, which stars Jared Leto as a well-meaning doctor who must battle his inner demons after being bitten by vampire bats, had been delayed six times prior due to COVID concerns and now leaves the January theatrical film slate looking rather small with only Scream, The 355, Belle, and Cyrano left as of this writing.
This is also curious given that Spider-Man: No Way Home recently swung into the $1 billion club globally and retroactively connected Sony’s fledgling universe of Spidey villains to the MCU. Marvel movies have done immensely well during the pandemic, with Shang-Chi making a healthy $432 million on a theaters-only run, Black Widow making $379 million when accounting for both theater tickets and Disney Premier Access purchases. There’s also the Eternals making $401.5 million with theatrical exclusivity and Venom: Let There Be Carnage making $501 million in theaters only.
These numbers show that people will show up for superhero movies in cinemas now more than ever. However, given the recent rise in Omnicron variant cases recently across the US, the move to April is a response that echoes similar moves back in 2020 when the pandemic began. So far no direct to, or same day, streaming adjustments have been made.
The Real Question About Morbius‘s April Release Date…
The bigger question is how well Morbius will do in April. The bloodsucking MD will now be going up against Paramount and Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and come out a mere month after Warner Bros’ intensely-anticipated The Batman. Sonic pretty much has the family audience in his bag of planet-hopping rings and Batman could make money spray-painting a Camaro orange, so with Morbius coming out a mere month after The Batman premieres and mere weeks before Sonic speeds back into cinemas for a new journey, it certainly has some tough competition ahead of it.
The other aspect of note is how much attention the new Morbius trailer has brought to its Spider-Man connections. With at least a cameo by Michael Keaton’s Vulture and 2 references to the Venom franchise, it’s becoming apparent that Sony wants to flaunt its new Marvel Cinematic Universe badge proudly for all the world to see. The original trailer made the film appear far more standalone than it does now, but only time will tell how well this film will work on its own merits.
Sony has a well-documented history in their Spider-Man movies of putting in as many fan-favorite characters, plotlines, and elements as humanly possible in an effort to appease comic book fans only for it to cause disconnects with general audiences (see the reception to and rough production histories of Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2). If Morbius turns out to be yet another return to that line of theoretical fan appeasement, they may have to, in the words of Norman Osbourne from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, take their entire villain universe concept “back to formula”.
Sony has been trying to get a Sinister Six movie off the ground since I was an adolescent, so if both Morbius and the upcoming Kraven The Hunter film flop, it will be interesting to see how Sony goes about establishing that sinister super team. Considering their working relationship with Marvel, hopes are high for these films.
As of this writing, Morbius will now sink his teeth in theaters on April 1, 2022. We at The Illuminerdi will be on the hunt for more information surrounding Morbius as it becomes available.
What do you think of Morbius switching release dates? Are you excited to see it? How have you enjoyed the previous Sony Marvel Villain movies? What’s your favorite Jared Leto performance? Let us know in the comments below and on our Twitter.
Source: Morbius Movie Twitter