Venom 3 Actor Comments on Sony’s Struggling Superhero Films

Venom 3 Actor Comments on Sony’s Struggling Superhero Films

Early reviews for “Madame Web” have been overwhelmingly negative, with critics labeling it as the “worst comic book movie” to date. This latest release is part of Sony’s ongoing attempt to establish its own Marvel Universe, separate from Disney’s highly successful franchises. The film, starring Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Emma Roberts, and Isabela Merced, has been described as “hilariously bad” by the Daily Beast and “depressingly inert” by the Hollywood Reporter. Variety noted that it lacks the charm typically expected from even the most basic superhero movies. Currently, “Madame Web” holds a dismal 25% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film is projected to earn between $30 million and $35 million following its Wednesday release, which would mark the lowest-ever domestic opening for a Sony Spider-Man movie. Rolling Stone reviewer David Fear commented, “‘Madame Web’ isn’t as bad as you’ve heard. It’s so much worse.”

“Madame Web” is the latest in a series of flops for Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU), which aims to build a world around side characters and villains from Marvel’s Spider-Man comics, without featuring Spider-Man himself. The SSU includes films like “Venom,” “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” and “Morbius,” all of which have been poorly received by critics. The second “Venom” film was the most well-received, with a 57% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

This year, fans of Marvel movies will have limited options outside of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. Apart from Disney’s “Deadpool 3” in July, Sony’s “Madame Web,” “Kraven the Hunter,” and “Venom 3” are the only Marvel films scheduled for release. The next installment in Disney’s Avengers-based Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Captain America: Brave New World,” is set for a Valentine’s Day release in 2025. DC will also release “Joker: Folie à Deux” in October.

The first three movies in the Sony Spider-Man Universe made $500.9 million at the domestic box office. In comparison, the first three Marvel films for Disney (“Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2”) made $766.3 million. It’s not just Sony that is struggling with its superhero films. Warner Bros.’ DC Studios and Disney’s Marvel Studios both produced flops last year, sparking discussions about “superhero fatigue.” DC’s “The Flash,” “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “Blue Beetle,” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” all underperformed at the box office. Disney’s “The Marvels” became the lowest-earning installment in the MCU, prompting CEO Bob Iger to announce a slowdown in the production of original series and movies for Disney+, specifically mentioning a “reduced output” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tom Hardy, who stars in the “Venom” series, has been a bright spot in Sony’s otherwise struggling superhero lineup. Hardy’s portrayal of Eddie Brock, an investigative reporter who gains superpowers after being infected by an alien symbiote, has been praised, even if the films themselves have not. The “Venom” movies have been criticized for their convoluted plots and reliance on CGI, but Hardy’s performance has been a consistent highlight.

Sony’s deal with Marvel, which allows Spider-Man to appear in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe while Sony retains the rights to produce standalone Spider-Man films, has been a double-edged sword. While it has allowed for successful collaborations like “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Avengers: Endgame,” it has also highlighted the shortcomings of Sony’s solo efforts.

As Sony continues to struggle with its superhero films, the future of the SSU remains uncertain. With “Venom 3” on the horizon, fans and critics alike are watching closely to see if Sony can turn things around. The success or failure of “Venom 3” could be a turning point for the SSU, determining whether it can carve out a niche in the crowded superhero genre or if it will continue to flounder.

In the meantime, the negative reception of “Madame Web” serves as a stark reminder of the challenges Sony faces in building a successful superhero franchise. As the landscape of superhero films continues to evolve, Sony will need to find a way to differentiate its offerings and capture the imagination of audiences if it hopes to compete with the likes of Disney and Warner Bros.

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