This weekend not only saw the biggest October opening of all time, but it’s the biggest three-day weekend in October box office history, thanks to huge weekends from two movies, both of which exceeded expectations. With this being Columbus Day weekend, both movies should also continue to see big numbers on Monday.
Venom easily took the box-office crown. It was hard to predict how the first movie in the Sony Marvel franchise would fare. Venom is not a particularly well-known or popular character outside of comic-book circles, and his biggest appearance to date was in Sam Raimi’s critically derided Spider-Man 3. Reviews were not great (31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but I had a feeling Venom might break-out anyway, not just because of the fan community, but because even many of the bad reviews noted that Venom was still a fun movie to watch, even if it didn’t hang together (I thought Venom the movie was OK, but “Venom” the character was outstanding). Audiences showed up for it to the tune of $80 million, smashing the October record set by Gravity with $55 million back in 2013 (The Martian fetched $54 million two years later).
Venom far exceeded expectations (studio estimates had put it closer to $55-$60 million) and with a B+ Cinemascore, it may not only stick around but follow through on the sequel teased in the post-credit sequence. With a relatively modest (for a superhero movie) price-tag of about $110 million, Venom may end up being a huge smash hit for Sony if international box-office follows suit (and it should). This is a huge win for producers Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, and Amy Pascal, who seem to have successfully launched Sony’s Marvel Universe.