Everything Everywhere All At Once Finally Passed Morbius At The Box Office


It's a good month for fans of "Everything Everywhere All At Once." Not only did the movie perform incredibly well at the Oscars, but now it has accomplished a feat that's increasingly rare for a mid-budget indie film: It surpassed a superhero movie at the domestic box office. Okay, so the superhero movie in question is "Morbius," which admittedly doesn't sound that impressive. After all, "Morbius" was the movie that somehow managed to bomb twice. In a healthier box office landscape, "EEAAO" should've surpassed it much sooner. But when you look at the circumstances behind each film, the situation gets a little more complicated.

As of today, "EEAAO" has made $75 million at the domestic box office, despite having a reported budget of only about $25 million. "Morbius," meanwhile, has only made $73 million domestically, despite its $75 million budget. It's not all terrible news for the vampire-superhero flick — it performed a lot better than "EEAAO" overseas, bringing its total to $167 million — but that's still not enough to turn a profit. But the more you look into both films' long-term performances, "EEAAO" seems even more impressive and "Morbius" seems even worse.

EEAAO's Unusual Trajectory

"Morbius" followed the usual path you'd expect from any heavily-promoted film of its type: Its biggest numbers were on its opening weekend, and it was largely downhill from there. Even movies that are well-received still tend to have their best nights early on. Meanwhile, though, the opening weekend of "EEAAO" was one of its lowest: It made $500,000, a mere fraction of the $6 million it made only a few weeks later. 

Like a lot of A24 films, "EEAAO" wasn't promoted that heavily and it wasn't initially widely released. For its opening weekend, the movie was only available in 10 theaters nationwide, making that $500,000 performance all the more impressive. For the second weekend, the available theaters expanded to 38 and the movie earned $1 million. It's only when the number of theaters playing the film jumped to over a thousand that "EEAAO" really started making the big bucks. It made $6 million on the weekend of April 8-10, and when the number of theaters doubled again for Easter Weekend, the number inched up to $7 million. 

One would expect the numbers to decline after that point, but the sheer power of word-of-mouth marketing kept them surprisingly strong. Whereas "Morbius" faded out of the public consciousness just as quickly as it arrived, "EEAAO" stuck around for a while. Its box office numbers received yet another boost this past month, as theaters have started playing the movie again in anticipation of (and now in reaction to) all its Oscar nominations. "EEAAO" may have taken a year to make as much as "Morbius" did in a month, but the fact that an original, low-budget, R-rated movie is still in theaters a year after its original release is still deeply impressive. 

What's Going On Overseas?

The one part of "EEAAO" that doesn't seem that impressive is its international performance. Its $37 million comprised a much lower percentage of its overall earnings than "Morbius," which pulled in $97 million internationally. "Morbius" had fairly strong opening weekends in countries like Mexico, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom. "EEAAO" did about as well in Australia and the United Kingdom, but made far less in countries like Mexico, France, and Spain. The latter was also released in fewer countries overall (as to be expected when comparing it to a superhero film that was explicitly aiming for global success).

The reasons for that performance gap are complicated and not entirely clear. Perhaps "EEAAO," with its stories focused on a Chinese immigrant living in America, didn't seem as relatable or intriguing in some countries as it does in the U.S.. There's also the fact that "EEAAO" heavily features openly queer characters in a way that can't simply be edited out for markets where LGTBQ+ content is harder to get by censors. 

Regardless, "Everything Everywhere All at Once" has had an undeniably strong run so far, and its legacy seems secure. Unlike "Morbius," it's made more than enough to turn a profit. And after such a positive reception, it seems like viewers will still be watching the multiverse drama for years to come, whereas "Morbius" has already been largely forgotten with the exception of a trickle of lingering ironic memes. Perhaps that's actually a fitting legacy for a movie as inert and uninteresting as "Morbius," after all.

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The post Everything Everywhere All At Once Finally Passed Morbius At The Box Office appeared first on /Film.

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