'Morbius' Is Coming Back To Theaters (Because Sony Doesn't Understand Memes)
Proving that it's tougher to kill than a vampire or Jared Leto's passion for taking things way too far to the abject annoyance of everyone around him, Morbius is back! Sony is re-releasing the not-at-all-well-received Spider-Man byproduct in over 1000 theatres in the U.S. this weekend. Sure it's already available on VOD, but if you really want to see Dr. Michael Morbius get his Nobel prize on the big screen, well, now's your chance.
Why is Sony doing this? Memes, of course. It's no secret that Morbius has generated a crapload of jokes on social media, most of which involve the phrase "It's Morbin' time!" – sometimes in the service of selling cheap buckets of greasy chicken.
And Morbius has a major presence on Twitch, with one account streaming the movie 24/7, presumably for use in CIA torture facilities.
But Sony's attempt to capitalize on Morb-mania is arguably missing the point. People don't want to simply watch the movie; they want to watch it while playfully engaging with other audience members. Hence the thousands of "MORBIN' TIME" comments next to the Twitch video.
Morbius is clearly inching towards possibly becoming a campy, so-bad-it's-good cult movie, but that's a hard thing for a movie studio to engineer. Like, there's a reason why there are no annual showings of Snakes on a Plane, despite the fact that the studio laboriously tried to market it as the next big midnight movie.
Films like The Room or The Rocky Horror Picture Show became cult staples because of grassroots screenings that featured actual audience engagement – which Sony clearly isn't offering anyone by simply dumping the movie back into multiplexes. Remember how Cats was reappraised as a cult favorite just months after it bombed at the box office? That was all fan-generated. These things can't be forced, and it's painfully clear that if Morbius does become a new camp classic, it will be forged here in the Hellscape that is the internet.
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Top Image: Sony