Emma Roberts Blames ‘Madame Web’ Failure On “Internet Culture” Turning It Into “A Joke”

Emma Roberts as Mary Parker in Madame Web

Why was Madame Web a failure of a movie? Was it the plot? The characters? The fact that the villain Ezekiel’s dialogue was hastily done through ADR in a slipshod fashion? Or, perhaps, as star Emma Roberts thinks, the reception to the film was marred by “internet culture” that turned it “into a joke.”

In the film, Roberts plays Mary Parker, the mother of Peter Parker (though his name is never spoken in the movie). While it’s a relatively minor role, at least what we saw in the main cut of the film, she still clearly really liked being in it — and was bummed about the reaction to the movie, based on a recent interview with Variety tied to the release of her Prime Video movie Space Cadet.

“Things work; things don’t work,” Roberts said. “Everyone likes to act like they can predict if they’re going to work or they’re not. And the truth is, you can’t. Things do badly, and then they blow up later on TikTok. Things do well, but then you watch them, and you’re like, ‘This did well?’ There is no secret. It’s about doing something goodish and it hitting at the right time. Everything else is like a wish and a prayer.”

While having a Spider-Man movie without Spider-Man, even with several Spider-Women and an evil Spider-Man-esque character, was already an uphill battle, the marketing didn’t help things. The first trailer led to the film being lambasted specifically for the dialogue line, “He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders just before she died.” The purpose was to explain part of the film’s plot, specifically what happened to Dakota Johnson’s character’s mother, but after being memed to oblivion the line didn’t even appear in the finished product. Leading to even more memes and jokes.

Emma Roberts as Mary Parker in Madame Web

Madame Web was ultimately a box office failure, only barely making back its reported $100 million budget, as well as a critical one. It also halted any plans for the rapid expansion of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, though that will continue with the repeatedly delayed Kraven The Hunter, and Venom: The Last Dance; as well as the live-action series Noir, starring Nicolas Cage as the version of Spider-Man he voiced in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

Even with all that, any chance for a Madame Web 2 is deader than a man smushed with a giant neon “P.”

“I personally really loved Madame Web,” Roberts continued. “I really enjoyed the movie. I thought everyone in it was great. The director, S.J. Clarkson, I think did an amazing job. She’s the reason I wanted to do that movie. If it wasn’t for internet culture and everything being made into a joke, I think that the reception would’ve been different. And that’s what bums me out about a lot of stuff, even stuff that I’ve done, is people just make such a joke out of everything now.”

Is Roberts right? Was Madame Web a failure because the internet made it into a joke? Or perhaps it’s because they didn’t release it over Christmas, even though Madame Web is clearly a Christmas movie? The world may never know.

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