World Box Office: The Triumph of the Anti-Hero

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Despite being savaged by critics as one of the worst Marvel movies ever, Morbius still chalked up respectable earnings of $39.1 million to debut at number one.

The movie stars Jared Leto as an anti-hero based on Morbius, the Living Vampire, aka Dr. Michael Morbius, Ph.D., M.D., a Marvel Comics character created by Roy Thomas and designed by Gil Kane. Originally portrayed as a nemesis of Spider-Man in comic book #101, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Morbius is Jared’s return to the superhero genre but this time as a Marvel character. He played DC Comics’ The Joker in Suicide Squad in 2016.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Morbius also stars Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Tyrese Gibson, Michael Keaton, and Jared Harris.

With the arrival of the vampire-transforming doctor, Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s The Lost City dropped to number two with $14.8 million. The first team-up of the two stars in the action-adventure-comedy, which also features Daniel Radcliffe and a cameo by Brad Pitt, has collected $54.6 million so far.

Still in the top five at number three was The Batman, which picked up $14.8 million for a superhero-strong tally of $349 million in North America. The well-received Robert Pattinson film, directed by Matt Reeves, looks poised to hit $400 million.

Tom Holland’s Uncharted also remains strong with $3.6 million for a fourth-place finish. The Ruben Fleischer-directed treasure hunt action-adventure, with Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas, has earned $139 million total so far, further boosting its status as Tom’s very successful follow-up to his mega-hit, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Jujutsu Kaisen O earned $1.97 million to land fifth. The anime film based on a manga series, a blockbuster in Japan, has racked up cumulative ticket sales of $31.2 million after three weekends.

Rounding out the rest of the top ten were, in order: RRR (Rise! Roar! Revolt!), an Indian action epic, $1.6 million; Spider-Man: No Way Home, $1.4 million; Channing’s Dog, $1.32 million; X, $1.02 million; and filmmakers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s sci-fi/action/adventure/comedy, Everything Everywhere All at Once, led by Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, and James Hong, $1.01 million.

Overseas, Morbius was also number one. Considered the latest entry in Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man universe, the movie raked in $44.9 million in more than 60 territories. The film, especially strong in Korea, Mexico, France, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East, scored a global cumulative of $84 million.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, released offshore ahead of its North American debut, grabbed $25.5 million in more than 30 markets. The sequel, directed by Jeff Fowler, features a voice cast headlined by Ben Schwartz in the title role, Idris ElbaJim Carrey, James Marsden, and Collen O’Shanussy.

The Batman cruised past $700 million, after collecting $13.4 million in over 70 territories. The movie also top billing Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey WrightColin FarrellPaul DanoAndy SerkisPeter Sarsgaard, and John Turturro stayed solid in the UK, Italy, France, and Germany.

The Bad Guys, an adventure-comedy animated film, also bowed earlier in the international market to the tune of $10.5 million. Directed by Pierre Perifel, the tale about reformed criminals who try to become good but end up with disastrous results has a voice cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Anthony Ramos, Marc Maron, and Zazie Beetz.

China, still suffering from a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, saw its lowest box office figures this year. With the lockdown in many areas, the world’s biggest film market reported only $12.6 million in ticket sales.

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