Reaching pre-pandemic levels, ‘Venom’ debuts $ 90.1 million at box office
NEW YORK – Pandemic cinema is finally starting to look like pre-pandemic cinema. Sony Pictures’ Marvel sequel, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” exceeded expectations on its debut with $ 90.1 million in ticket sales, making it by far the best opening in the pandemic, according to the reports. studio estimates Sunday.
âVenom: Let There Be Carnageâ was due to open with nearly half that total. But the film, which is released exclusively in theaters, even surpassed the debut of the 2018 original. “Venom,” the offshoot of “Spider-Man” that introduced Tom Hardy’s stray alien symbiote, launched with 80 , $ 3 million. Only the 2019 âJokerâ ($ 96.2 million) opened bigger in October.
The result, along with strong international sales of the James Bond film “No Time to Die”, was the best news for theaters in over 18 months.
“With apologies to Mr. Twain: The death of films has been greatly exaggerated,” Tom Rothman, president and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, said in a statement.
MGM’s âLet There Be Carnageâ and âNo Time to Dieâ were originally scheduled to open last year. Believing the best box office comeback would come with an exclusive theatrical release, both studios (neither of which have major streaming platforms) have withstood better cinema conditions. Over the weekend, their wait was rewarded.
âNo Time to Die,â which opens in North America on Friday, launched with $ 119.1 million in 54 foreign markets. The pace, according to MGM and Universal Pictures (which owns many international rights), was roughly in line with the opening of âSkyfallâ. After its London premiere last week, “No Time to Die” – the 25th Bond film and Daniel Craig’s last outing as a super spy – grossed $ 25.6 million in the UK and Ireland. Its $ 11.4 million on Saturday, it had the best box office day for any Bond film in its own territory.
Prior to “Let There Be Carnage”, the main pandemic overtures had been Walt Disney’s “Black Widow” ($ 80 million), “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($ 75 million) and “Fast and Furious. Universal Pictures’ “F9” sequel ($ 70 million). “Black Widow” hit homes simultaneously, prompting a lawsuit against star Scarlett Johansson that was settled last week. “Shang-Chi” , “F9” and “Let There Be Carnage” only debuted in theaters.
âMovies can only become cultural when people see them together on the biggest and best screens and have that experience as a group,â said Josh Greenstein, president of Sony Motion Pictures Group. “You cannot reproduce this on your own at home.”
After many delays, Sony has finally brought forward the release of the sequel to “Venom”, directed by Andy Serkis and starring Woody Harrelson as the foe of Venom Carnage, by two weeks. Abroad, he also added $ 13.8 million in Russia.
âWe have seen the health of ‘Shang-Chi’ and it has given us confidence that when the product is there, the box office will return,â said Adrian Smith, Sony’s chief distribution officer. “It’s very gratifying to see the demand for theatricality.”
Not everything bounces in theaters and quickly like the Marvel movies and the biggest brands. Family cinema is still in slow motion, as is the sale of tickets in arthouse cinemas. Older audiences and families with unvaccinated children were more careful.
âThe Addams Family 2,â an animated sequel to MGM and United Artists Releasing, opened with $ 18 million despite terrible reviews (27% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) from critics. The film, a sequel to the 2019 cartoon reboot, was released simultaneously on video-on-demand.
âThe Many Saints of Newark,â the long-running prequel to âThe Sopranos,â failed. The film, co-written by “Sopranos” creator David Chase and set decades before HBO’s flagship series, debuted with $ 5 million. The film, like all of Warner Bros. in 2021, also aired on HBO Max for subscribers – a practice some filmmakers, including Chase, have denounced. The studio has pledged to return to exclusive theatrical windows in 2022.
Julia Ducournau’s “Titanium”, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this summer, also struggled to find a place in theaters. The film, a savage odyssey about a female serial killer with a unique connection to automobiles, grossed around $ 516,000 in 562 theaters for Neon.
But movie shows, especially those that appeal to young men in particular, drove an even larger share of theatrical releases this year. Marvel’s âShang-Chi,â the studio’s first film directed by an Asian superhero, dominated in theaters last month. It had been the # 1 movie for four straight weeks. “Shang-Chi” this weekend became the first film to surpass $ 200 million nationally, with a cumulative total of $ 206.1 million in the US and Canada, and $ 386.9 million. of dollars in the world.
Large format screens are also helping to stimulate the recovery. With $ 30 million in global sales, IMAX had its best October weekend ever. Megan Colligan, president of IMAX Entertainment, called it proof of “what today’s box office can do.”
âThe perception may be that these movies are outperforming,â Colligan said, âbut the reality is that a lot of people underestimate how excited global consumers are to come back to the movies.â
Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.
1. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”, $ 90.1 million
2. “The Addams Family 2”, $ 18 million
3. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, $ 6 million
4. “The Many Saints of Newark”, $ 5 million
5. “Dear Evan Hansen”, $ 2.5 million
6. “Free Guy”, $ 2.28 million
7. “Candyman”, $ 1.2 million
8. “Jungle Cruise”, $ 680,000
9. “The Music of Jesus”, $ 560,000
10. “Titanium”, $ 516,000