- Box office predictions indicate that Madame Web may have a lower opening weekend gross than Morbius, suggesting a lack of audience enthusiasm for the character’s solo outing.
- Madame Web’s low projected performance may be disappointing to Sony executives, considering the reported budget and the lack of name recognition and fan excitement surrounding secondary characters in the Sony Spider-Man Universe.
- Sony’s strategy of starting with lesser-known characters in lead roles with hopes of eventually connecting them appears to be flawed, and focusing on more familiar characters like Black Cat and Kraven the Hunter could have been a better approach.
Madame Web box office predictions suggest the Sony Spider-Man Universe movie could have a lower opening weekend gross than Jared Leto’s Morbius, which infamously bombed.
Sony holds the film rights to hundreds of Marvel characters through their licensing deal involving Spider-Man. This has allowed them to launch their own shared cinematic universe featuring Spider-Man characters over the past decade. Venom and its sequel, Let Carnage Be, starring Tom Hardy, have been the biggest hits. But 2022’s Morbius movie featuring Leto as the Spider-Man villain struggled critically and commercially. Now, box office predictions indicate similarly dim prospects for Madame Web, as early projections show audiences may not be enthused about this new character’s solo outing.
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Madame Web’s bad guy plays a vital role in the Spider-Verse with an important connection to Spider-Man.
Box Office Pro projects a $25-$35 million domestic launch for Madame Web over the 3-day weekend starting February 14, 2024. They also predict a total domestic gross between $56-101 million. With Morbius opening at $39.1 million, the movie’s projected performance may be disappointing to Sony executives given the reported $80 million budget. The main issue seems to be that these secondary characters simply don’t have enough name recognition or fan excitement built up around them yet, so casual audiences are not sold on spending money to see their solo movies. Sony needs these films to work to build a cohesive, successful shared universe that can rival Marvel and DC. But their strategy of starting with these characters in lead roles with hopes of slowly connecting them later appears flawed.
Cassandra Webb, known as Madame Web in Marvel Comics, first appeared in the 1980s as a blind clairvoyant mutant with psychic abilities and connections spanning the multiverse. She has served as a guide and mentor figure to Spider-Man. In the upcoming Sony film, Dakota Johnson portrays a younger iteration of Webb without her disabilities. The plot finds her investigating her future after a life-threatening car accident leaves her with new powers to see events before they happen. As she contends with these disorienting visions, Webb uncovers threats that put her own life and others in danger. Early ticket listings from the Norwegian ticketing firm FilmWeb indicate that the movie’s runtime stands at 1 hour and 56 minutes.
Perhaps Sony would be better served by initially focusing any Spider-Man spinoff films around more familiar, beloved characters who can draw in viewers immediately. Characters like Black Cat, Silver Sable, and Kraven the Hunter have a rich comic history with Spider-Man that fans know. Building out movies around them first to establish Sony’s connected saga and then slowly introducing some lesser characters like Morbius could pay dividends. Rushing out a Madame Web origin film banking on audience attachment to a virtual unknown was always risky. And unfortunately for Sony, it looks set to backfire commercially.
Madame Web is set to hit theaters on February 14, 2024.
Spider-Man is one of the biggest names in entertainment today. The superhero first appeared in the Marvel comic Amazing Fantasy #15 before becoming a leading figure in the Marvel comic-book universe.
Spider-Man has also featured in numerous films and a plethora of video games, most notably Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man (2018) and Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
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Source: Box Office Pro