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Madame Web Star Blames Movie Failure on “Internet Culture”

The Spider-Man spinoff Madame Web landed in theaters earlier this year and became a disappointment among both audiences and critics. While there are many reasons the film fell short of expectations, star Emma Roberts believes that social media and the “internet culture” of mocking things played a significant part in the film’s lackluster performance. Initially, with the film starring Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, and Adam Scott, there was considerable excitement about the project. However, the public perception began to shift once the first trailer was unveiled. Things only worsened from there, culminating in its lackluster performance with critics and audiences, making it one of the biggest duds of 2024.

“Things work; things don’t work. Everyone likes to act like they can predict if they’ll be successful or not. The truth is, you can’t,” Roberts shared with Variety. “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’s no secret to it. It’s about doing something goodish and it hitting at the right time. Everything else is like a wish and a prayer. I’m not intimidated by failure, and I’m not intimidated by people having negative thoughts about something.”

She continued, “I personally really loved Madame Web. 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.”

The Internet wasn’t alone in lambasting the project. Sweeney made its failures a punchline when she hosted Saturday Night Live, and Johnson largely expressed her disappointment with the changes the project underwent after she signed on. Despite the underwhelming performance of Madame Web, Roberts confirmed she’d be interested in returning to the realm of superheroes.

“I loved getting to just pop in and play Peter Parker’s mom, and I loved the director of that movie. I had so much fun,” Roberts revealed to ComicBook previously. “I think that playing comic book characters is so fun. I would love to get the chance to play one that maybe gets a little more action.”

Stay tuned for updates on the future of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.

Source: Variety, ComicBook, Saturday Night Live