Box Office: ‘Venom’ Sequel Feasts on Monstrous $90 Million Debut, Setting Pandemic Record

Box Office: ‘Venom’ Sequel Feasts on Monstrous $90 Million Debut, Setting Pandemic Record

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” has raked in a whopping $90.1 million, setting a new pandemic record. It’s a fantastic outcome, one that helps struggling movie theatres and (once again) demonstrates Marvel’s box office dominance.

Sony Pictures’ considerably darker “Venom” sequel is distinct from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, which just released “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Black Widow,” the year’s two highest-grossing flicks at the domestic box office.

If the first three days in cinemas are any indication, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is on track to be one of the year’s top earners in 2021. The picture is solely available in theatres, rather than a hybrid release on-demand, a factor that should help ticket sales.

“We are also pleased that patience and theatrical exclusivity have been rewarded with record results,” Sony’s chairman Tom Rothman said in a statement to the press. “With apologies to Mr Twain: The death of movies has been greatly exaggerated.”

The supervillain sequel, starring Tom Hardy as the otherworldly lethal protector, shattered the pandemic-era box office record set by “Black Widow,” which made $80 million in its first weekend. It also generated $60 million on Disney Plus, where it was available for purchase on the same day as its theatrical release.

“Young adult audiences are less deterred by current pandemic conditions than older and family moviegoers, which is benefitting superhero, action and horror movies,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. He adds: “For these movies, playing exclusively on the big screen is clearly an advantage.”

Even more astounding are the initial ticket sales for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”: It had a stronger opening weekend than its predecessor, “Venom,” which was released in 2018. The first comic book adventure with Hardy at the helm opened to $80 million, years before the devastating global health crisis. 

Despite negative reviews, the first film was a box office success, grossing $213 million in North America and $856 million worldwide. “Venom” was very popular in China, where the 2018 film grossed $269 million.

China, which will be critical to the sequel’s success, has yet to set a release date. Despite the fact that it is expected to open there, “Black Widow,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and other famous Hollywood films have been denied entry.

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” wasn’t the only new release to give the box office a boost. “The Addams Family 2,” an MGM animated adventure, earned a better-than-expected $18 million from 4,207 theatres while also being accessible to rent on-demand.

Meanwhile, the Warner Bros. movie “The Many Saints of Newark,” a prequel to “The Sopranos,” flopped in its first weekend, grossing only $5 million from 3,181 theatres. The film debuted concurrently on HBO Max at no additional cost to subscribers, just like the rest of the studio’s 2021 slate.

In other domestic box office news, “Shang-Chi” brought in $6 million in its fifth weekend, bringing its total to $206 million. It is the first and only pandemic-era film to gross over $200 million in the United States and Canada. 

The superhero tentpole has grossed $386 million worldwide, significantly less than a Marvel film would have grossed in pre-COVID times but still one of the highest hauls at a time when attendance hasn’t even approached pre-pandemic levels.

The rotten tomatoes rating for Venom: Let There Be Carnage is about 62%. The fact behind the success of the movie is, most probably, that it was exclusively released in theatres only. The movie will remain in theatres till further notice.

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Chris Mack

Chris Mack

Chris is a technology and entertainment writer whose main interests revolve around the art of writing and expression. He loves writing research-based articles in different niches and translating his thoughts into words that inspire others.


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