Madame Web’s Box Office Is Bad Enough To Squash Sony’s Spider-Man Spin-Off Plans

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SJ Clarkson directed “Madame Web,” which centers on a paramedic played by Dakota Johnson who gains clairvoyance and has to use her powers to help save several Spider-Women of the future. Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor, Tahar Rahim, Adam Scott, and Emma Roberts round out the ensemble. Sony had very clearly and deliberately planned to use this film to launch several spin-offs/sequels. Whatever plans may have existed now must be abandoned, but the ripple effects are sure to be felt beyond this movie’s isolated corner of the larger Marvel multiverse.

As far as comparisons go, the company that this movie finds itself in is unwelcome. It is the first Marvel Comics movie to fail to open at number one since Josh Trank’s “Fantastic Four” in 2015, which was a rather infamous disaster, taking in just $167 million worldwide in its day. Yes, interestingly enough, it made almost exactly the same amount as “Morbius.” Time is a flat circle.

Sony had great success with 2018’s “Venom” which, despite poor reviews, earned a whopping $856 million worldwide. Its sequel, 2021’s “Let There Be Carnage,” did similarly well, pulling in $502 million globally in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic theater shutdowns. That’s why we’re getting “Venom 3” later this year. But the studio has struggled mightily to make these other “Spider-Man” character spin-off films work. “Morbius” and “Madame Web” are both critical disasters whose only shot at a future is gaining cult status based on camp value. Luckily, they both carried sub-$100 million budgets, making them cheap relative to most superhero movies. That said, “Madame Web” still stands to lose a fortune in its theatrical run based on the early numbers.

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