- Sony on Monday announced a new Marvel movie, “El Muerto,” starring Bad Bunny.
- It comes as the studio’s release of “Morbius” disappointed at the box office.
- But with rights to hundreds of Spider-Man characters, Sony’s Marvel franchise is still the biggest.
Shortly after the release of “Morbius,” Sony is betting on more Spider-Man characters at the box office.
The studio announced Monday during the annual CinemaCon screening conference that musician Bad Bunny would star in “El Muerto,” a new addition to its Marvel universe.
“Morbius,” in which Jared Leto played a vampire antihero, was underwhelming at the box office, but Sony’s Marvel universe is still its most profitable franchise. She owns the film rights to hundreds of Spider-Man characters, from allies to villains and love interests.
The studio also has “Kraven the Hunter,” “Madame Webb” and a third “Venom” movie in the works, as well as sequels to its animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
“Morbius” has made $156 million at the worldwide box office since opening earlier this month, with $69 million coming from the US.
Although “Morbius” is budgeted less than most comic book movies today, at $75 million, it’s still an underwhelming number compared to “Venom,” which grossed over $800 million globally in 2018. , and its sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”. “, which surpassed $500 million last year.
It shows the potential limits of Sony’s Marvel movies at the box office, at least those that don’t involve Spider-Man himself. Not all of them will be a “Venom”.
“Morbius” was plagued by appalling reviews prior to its release and received a critical score of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. And audiences rated CinemaScore a C+, a company that surveys audiences on a movie’s opening night.
Without strong word of mouth, the film dropped a dramatic 74% in its second weekend at the US box office.
Paul Dergarabedian, the media analyst at Comscore, said Sony has at least tried to “go beyond the more well-known characters” in its Spider-Man library, something it will try to do again with “El Muerto.” .”
“It will be exciting to see how a movie like ‘El Muerto’ and other upcoming projects will be received by audiences, and which characters might have the potential to become the next ‘Venom,'” he said.
Sony is betting on two things with “El Muerto”: the studio touted it at CinemaCon as Marvel’s first film with a Latino lead, and Bad Bunny is a global superstar.
Spider-Man isn’t Sony’s only franchise. Also announced on Monday a new movie “Ghostbusters”, for example. And his recent “Jumanji” films were hits.
But Spider-Man is the most consistent and profitable, with the franchise – including those co-produced with Marvel Studios – earning over $3 billion combined in the US alone. The studio has a sizable library of characters that you can dive into at any time.
“The Marvel component of Sony’s long-term release strategy is vital to the studio’s overall success,” said Dergarabedian. “Given the overwhelmingly positive box office and critical response to the “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Verse” series, it is essential that Sony commits to bringing films from this popular brand to the big screen now and for years to come.”
Sony Pictures President Tom Rothman on Monday screened the studio’s unfranchised films – including “The Woman King” starring Viola Davis and the action movie “Bullet Train” – and said he doesn’t believe that just sequels and superheroes are the future of cinema.
But for now, these franchise movies are making the most money by far.
Sony also touted that it has earned more than $3 billion at the global box office since last year’s CinemaCon in August, as a sign that theaters are back. That was mostly thanks to “Let There Be Carnage” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” both superhero sequels.