Madame Web Is A Bigger Disaster Than The Worst Marvel Movie In Years

By Charlene Badasie | Published

dakota johnson

The woes of Madame Web continue following its second dismal weekend at the box office. Nearly a fortnight since its debut, the film accumulated $6 million at the domestic box office and $10.5 million internationally. This brings its domestic earnings to $35.45 million and its global total to $77.4 million. Notably, there has been a 61 percent decline in domestic revenue from the previous weekend.

A Box Office Disaster

dakota johnson

In the 11 days since its premiere, Madame Web failed to surpass the total earnings of the opening weekend for Morbius. The 2022 superhero film was widely criticized and only earned $83.9 million during its debut weekend. Despite a subsequent sharp decline of 74 percent, it ultimately amassed a total of $167.5 million.

With reports indicating that the budget for Madame Web exceeded $100 million, coupled with additional expenses on marketing, the movie has turned out to be a financial disappointment for Sony. Despite the steep decline in its second weekend, it’s not the worst drop observed in high-budget comic book adaptations. The Marvels suffered a 78 percent decline in its second weekend.

Terrible With Critics As Well

Sadly, the critical response to Madame Web exacerbates its money troubles. It currently holds the lowest rating among movies in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe on Rotten Tomatoes, with a mere 12 percent, surpassing the previous record set by Morbius at 15 percent. Despite this, the film has fared somewhat better with its audience, receiving a mixed score of 57 percent.

Good For Dakota Johnson?

Madame Web

Despite its shortcomings, Madame Web marked a significant milestone for Dakota Johnson, delivering her highest domestic opening for a PG-13 movie in her acting career.

With $26.2 million earned in its first five days, it surpassed her previous PG-13 films, such as 2014’s Need for Speed, which earned $17.9 million in North American cinemas, and 2011’s Beastly, which secured $9.85 million.

Madame Web Is A Spider-Man Story, Kind Of

Madame Web

Madame Web tells the story of its titular hero, Cassandra Web (Dakota Johnson), a New York City paramedic with clairvoyant abilities. As she deals with revelations from her past, Cassandra must protect three young women from a mysterious adversary who wants them dead. The movie also stars Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced, Sydney Sweeney, and Tahar Rahim.

Director S.J. Clarkson recently revealed that she considered giving Madame Web villain Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) a much larger backstory. “You want to give as much time as you can, but also I want the movie to be streamlined and feel like it’s agile and keep propelling you forward, that there’s a propulsion to it that I really wanted,” Clarkson explained. 

Too Complicated

dakota johnson Madame Web

However, it proved too complicated. “We had ideas of how we might have flashbacks for him, but I’m like, ‘Hang on, hang on, hang on. We’ve got clairvoyance, and he’s got a nightmare. If I start doing flashbacks, what am I going to do for the flashbacks? This is a whole thing going on,'” Clarkson continued about the Madame Web villain.

Still More Marvel Coming For Sony

madame web

While Madame Web may not generate profits for Sony, the studio is still committed to expanding its Marvel franchise, focusing on Spider-Man’s supporting characters and adversaries.

The next installment in the Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSU) is Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the warrior antihero raised to be a formidable killer by his estranged father, played by Russell Crowe.

Sony is also close to completing a third Venom film with Tom Hardy reprising his dual role as Eddie Brock/Venom. The company has also collaborated with Prime Video for various Marvel series, including Silk: Spider Society and Spider-Man Noir.