Morbius On Track For A $40 Million Opening Weekend At The Box Office

It may have been delayed for literally years, but "Morbius" is, at long last, hitting theaters on Friday, serving as Sony's latest attempt to make the most of the "Spider-Man" assembly of characters it controls the rights to. The Marvel Comics adaptation looks to recapture the same magic that "Venom" did at the box office a few years back. While Jared Leto may not be able to reach the same heights as Tom Hardy, the early box office predictions are looking pretty good for this one.

As reported by Variety, "Morbius" is currently tracking for an opening weekend haul between $40 million and $50 million. That is on the somewhat lower end of what we're accustomed to seeing for superhero movies, but it's worth noting that tracking has become even less accurate in post-pandemic Hollywood. It is also very much worth pointing out that Sony is lowballing things right now, with the studio officially pointing towards a $33 million opening. They're trying to play things conservatively to avoid possibly getting any egg on their face if the numbers are disappointing come Monday morning.

One thing that could sway the numbers is critical opinion, though critics have yet to officially weigh on the matter (as of this writing). Though the few reactions we've seen on social media thus far have not been encouraging. Even so, "Venom" was thrashed by critics ahead of its release in 2018 and it ended up making $856 million globally. So that may not matter nearly as much here.

How the numbers stack up

Let's say that Sony is right and the movie opens to around $33 million. That would put it on par with "Birds of Prey," which opened to precisely that amount in February 2020 and topped out at just $201 million worldwide. However, the pandemic cut its theatrical run short, which is certainly important to point out. Plus, it was an R-rated movie too. If it gets to $50 million, "Shazam!" might be a better basis for comparison, with the movie opening to $53 million before finishing at $363 million worldwide. Obviously, there is a chance it could exceed expectations, which could set it up for a $400 million or more global run, which would be very much a win for Sony, especially with more spin-offs such as "Kraven the Hunter" on the way.

Daniel Espinosa ("Life") is in the director's chair for this one, working from a screenplay by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson round out the cast.

"Morbius" hits theaters this Friday, and here's the synopsis:

One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar® winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?