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Panned by critics, yet 'Morbius' tops North American box office

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It may have been skewered by critics, not a common reception for a film adapted from Marvel comics, but still, Columbia Pictures’ ‘Morbius’, starring Jared Leto, opened on top of the North American box office to a projected $38 million to $41 million from 4,268 locations.

That’s a fairly moderate opening figure, according to ‘Variety’, for the latest entry into the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (which includes Tom Hardy’s two ‘Venom’ movies and the upcoming ‘Kraven the Hunter’), but with a $75 million production budget, ‘Morbius’ is a less imposing financial investment for Sony than the usual comic book action spectacle.

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The film, which was set for a July 2020 release, was hindered by numerous theatrical release delays due to Covid-19. “That schedule shuffling,” notes Variety, “led to numerous marketing reboots that made ‘Morbius’ a bit more costly.”

The Marvel film was utterly ravaged by critics, notching up a dismal 17 per cent aggregate approval score on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety’s film critic Owen Gleiberman called it “a movie in which it’s clear that no one ever sent the script back for a rewrite with the instructions, ‘Please add a script.’ As in: Add spice, add dialogue, add something so that the movie plays like more than a barely coloured-in diagram.”

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What’s more, the film earned a Cinema Score rating of ‘C+’, indicating that ‘Morbius’ didn’t leave much of an impression on general audiences.

Also inauspicious for ‘Morbius’ is the calendar month ahead, which will see a fair amount of competition emerge at multiplexes, including Universal’s retro-action spectacle ‘Ambulance’, Paramount’s speedy sequel ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ and the ‘Harry Potter’ spin-off from Warner Bros., ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’.

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CELEBRITY GALLERY

Malavika Mohanan

Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu

Rashami Desai

Ananya Panday

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