Sony is at it again with another Spider-Man character making the movie screens as ‘Madame Web’ is set to release early in 2024. Of course, we all know that the movie is actually going to follow other Spider-Man characters in a world that doesn’t seem to have Spider-Man (as far as we know). Nevertheless, Sony is looking to go all-in on trying to make the best out of the rights to Spider-Man and all of the characters associated with the web-slinging superhero. So, let’s look at how ‘Madame Web’ will perform at the box office.
No one knows who Madame Web is
Spider-Man may be the world’s most popular superhero, but not even the characters associated with Peter Parker are always popular. Of course, we know that Sony is seemingly intent on releasing movies based on the characters who are associated with Spider-Man, and Madame Web is the newest character who will be seeing a movie release that’s based on the titular character.
The thing about superheroes and the characters associated with them is that they already had fans before their movies were even produced. That’s because there have been countless superheroes who have been around for decades, as these characters were able to garner fans from all over the world due to the comic books, games, and animated shows that were based on them. This explains why Spider-Man and a lot of different superheroes tend to have movies that perform well, as their fans are already quite familiar with them.
But the problem with Madame Web is that she is one of the most obscure Spider-Man characters. While she does have a compelling storyline in the comics, the thing is that she hasn’t been quite as popular as all of the other Spider-Man characters and villains we’ve seen.
Madame Web seems to have the earmarks of a character who is only familiar to diehard comic book fans. Casual comic book fans might not even be familiar with her at all as she has never been the most important character in the world of the Spider-Man comics.
As such, when the trailer for the movie was released, there were probably a lot of people asking who the hell Madame Web was. At the very least, the more casual comic book fans probably didn’t care about the trailer at all.
Of course, a powerful cast of actors should make the movie more familiar to casual comic book fans or even to different moviegoers. Sydney Sweeney, who made her bank as a modern-day sexy actress in the ‘Euphoria’ series, is set to play the role of Julia Carpenter. Meanwhile, Dakota Johnson, who had a breakout role in the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy, is set to play the role of the titular character.
So, while most people may not be familiar with Madame Web, a lot of them may be quite familiar with the likes of Sweeney and Johnson. As such, it looks like Sony did its job well by casting known characters into the roles of B-list or even C-list Spider-Man characters. This seems to be in stark contrast to what Marvel Studios has been known to do, as a lot of MCU films and series usually star actors and actresses who aren’t very popular but play roles that are popular.
As such, there’s a good chance that some people may be drawn into ‘Madame Web’ just because the film stars actors that they are already familiar with. But in most cases, popular actors don’t always make up for a movie’s poor or lackluster performance.
While it may be true that the two ‘Venom’ films did well enough, this is due to the fact that Venom is one of the most popular Spider-Man characters of all time. It’s basically pairing the Venom character with Tom Hardy’s brilliance and popularity as an actor. On the other hand, while Sweeney, Johnson, and all of the other girls who are set to appear in ‘Madame Web’ are popular, we can’t say the same about the titular character.
There is no real direction for Sony’s Spider-Verse
Another reason why there is a good chance that ‘Madame Web’ won’t perform well at the box office is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear direction for the Sony Spider-Verse that will soon culminate in the Sinister Six movie.
We all know that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, although still owned by Sony, is tied to the MCU. Andrew Garfield may return as Peter Parker for the Sony Spider-Verse, but it has been nearly a decade since his last Spider-Man movie was released. Even if Sony is trying to bring Garfield back into the suit, there are still a lot of things that are left unanswered in relation to the direction of this huge live-action Spider-Verse.
The early storylines of this Sony universe were able to establish the characters. ‘Venom,’ for one, has already had two movies about the titular character. ‘Morbius’ has also established the vampire character as well. And Kraven’s movie is going to be released soon.
But other than the fact that we know that these characters are all going to team up to wreak havoc and possibly kill Spider-Man, there is no real direction that has been established, especially when the man who is supposed to be a common enemy to all of these characters is yet to make an appearance in this Spider-Verse.
So, for ‘Madame Web,’ fans are not entirely interested in learning what’s next for a movie universe that doesn’t have a clear direction in terms of where it wants to go and who it wants to involve. There really is no incentive for audiences to want to watch a movie about an obscure character whose role in a greater storyline with no specific storyline hasn’t been properly established.
Recent superhero movies haven’t been doing well
‘Morbius,’ the most recent Sony Spider-Verse movie, made less than $170 million at the box office. The two Venom movies, which surpassed over $1.3 billion at the box office combined, are outliers due to the massive popularity of the character and the actor. But it has been clear that superhero movies, particularly those that are part of the Sony live-action Spider-Verse, haven’t been doing so well.
Of course, Sony isn’t alone in this problem because Warner Bros. DCEU and even the MCU, to some extent, haven’t been doing well. DC’s ‘The Flash’ bombed at the box office after making only $270 million. Meanwhile, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,’ which grossed nearly $500 million, is a box office disappointment when compared to other MCU projects that were able to exceed or get somewhere close to a billion dollars in the box office. As of this writing, ‘The Marvels’ has failed to exceed expectations.
The recent performances of superhero movies can be attributed to the fact that there are now a lot of people who have lost interest in the superhero genre. This can be blamed on the massive success of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ which are often called the peaks of superhero movies. Since the release of ‘Endgame,’ more and more people have lost interest in the superhero genre, especially when it comes to movies that clearly have characters who aren’t popular enough to gain their interest.
In the case of ‘Madame Web,’ the outlook doesn’t look positive due to how there are a lot of different circumstances that have already doomed the film to fail. As such, it is unlikely that the movie will make a ton of money at the box office and will probably gross somewhere close to the $170 million mark that ‘Morbius’ earned.
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