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I Saw Morbius On Opening Night And Now I Feel Like Part Of Cinematic History

This week, we all brought Morbius back to cinemas through the power of memes. Brought it back, but did not actually watch it, with Morbius bombing for the second time this year as scientists discovered that ironically memeing on a movie's ridiculousness is not the way audiences demonstrate their willingness to pack screens to the rafters. Before all this though, I was a ground floor Morb. Though not the ultimate originator of Doctor Michael Morbius' iconic catchphrase It's Morbin' Time, I did go to see Morbius on the very first Thursday it opened, and now it feels as if I own a piece of cinematic history.

I go to the cinema a lot, and with a subscription, everything I see is free, so it's not like I lost anything but the short and precious time I have on this Earth, but it still feels like a strange decision to have made on reflection. My wife and I do skip movies that just look plain old bad, but the reason we were such Morb heads rests almost entirely with her. I, with my brain rotted by the MCU and knowing that several release delays smelled like bad news, expected it to be bad. My wife, who saw it as a vampire horror starring Jared Leto, went in with higher hopes – hopes that were soon dashed.

I've started to apply 'the Morbius model' to the movies I see in the cinema now. Namely, they offer a vague indication of how popular or successful a movie might be. There were nine people in the cinema Morbing out with us, although four of these were teenage boys who kept leaving and returning with supplies of food, possibly after sampling something a little stronger in the cinema toilets. Clearly Doctor Michael Morbius was just too intense for their young minds. Nine people – there are three movies I have seen in the cinema this year with fewer people than Morbius: X, Men (not to be confused with X-Men, who Doctor Michael Morbius could easily kill), and FireStarter.

There are a few factors to the Morbius model. We always choose the screening time most convenient for our day across the opening weekend, but there may be another time in those first three or four days where these movies out-Morb the Morb himself, but they're a good indicator, or at least a slightly entertaining thing to look out for.

It's very fitting that Morbius is providing more entertainment off the screen than it is from the movie itself. That's what the memes are doing for it, and that's what the Morbius model does. It's also worth pointing out that Morbius is not the worst movie of the year, despite the fact it will likely top a lot of mean-spirited end of year lists. The aforementioned FireStarter was just as rough, while both Umma and Metal Lords were considerably more convoluted and ridiculous (the former), or dull and lifeless (the latter). Morbius transcends bad or good. It is simply Morbius.

As the first year of cinemas being back on the menu, 2022 has already offered up a lot of great spectacles. My time at the Morbius opening night was set to fade from my memories like a ghost, but the memes have sunk their fangs into me, and I feel like I'm part of a slice of cinematic history. When Morbius 74: Return of the Morb releases, I'll be able to tell my grandkids that I was there when it all started.

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