Venom Bites The Box Office in a Big Way


Back in the day, being box office poison was a bad thing. But the folks at Sony Pictures were more than happy to inject the box office this weekend with a little Venom.

Answering pent-up demand from fans who hadn’t seen a superhero flick in, oh, months, Spider-Man’s longtime nemesis-turned-antihero shrugged off scathing reviews and barreled to a weekend win in record-setting fashion. Venom gobbled up an estimated $80 million in North America—the highest October opening ever, according to Box Office Mojo. (2013’s Gravity had been the previous record-holder with a comparatively paltry $55.7 million.) Venom added another $125.2 million overseas, too, which pushes its worldwide take to $205.2 million. Spider-Man? Who needs Spider-Man?

But Venom wasn’t the only film that showed some teeth this weekend.

A Star is Born—the fourth version of this clearly timeless tragic tale—roared into second place with a $41.3 million opening, about $10 million better than most prognosticators guessed. Add in the $1.35 million in the couch-cushion change it earned before the weekend even began, and Star has already banked $42.6 million. Those aren’t Venom-like numbers, of course, but it’s still the 10th-biggest October opening on the books.

We can’t say what the future holds for Bradley Cooper’s Oscarbait opus, of course. But for now, Star is whistling a surprisingly optimistic tune.

A handful of holdovers filled the rest of the weekend’s top five. Smallfoot, Warner Bros.’ sweet animated movie, stomped into third with $14.9 million. Night School, last week’s champ, slid all the way to fourth place with $12.3 million. The House With a Clock in Its Walls, now in its third week, continues to tick along, closing out the top five with $7.3 million.

As well as Venom did this weekend, it may have a hard time holding to first place. Three new releases—including early awards darling in First Man and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween—will try to knock the Symbiote off its lofty perch. Venom may discover that the box office sometimes bites back.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I’ve been on the bench in seeing Venom for quite awhile now. I initially thought making a Venom movie without Spider-Man was a very bad idea, but then the trailers started to come out, and they weren’t that bad, with the first official one actually being pretty good. I started to get cautiously optimistic about the movie, thinking that it might be good.

Now that the review embargo is out, I can see that the critics say it’s a bad film. But considering that the Rotten Tomatoes score for the critics is 31% while the audience score is 89%, I might still see the movie myself and make up my own opinion. After all, these are the same critics who heaped tons of praise on The Last Jedi.

(And yes, I did love the Last Jedi initially, but it didn’t hold up on my second viewing.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is talk of a R rated version of Venom in the making. Which would probably include the 40+ minutes that were cut as to insure a PG-13. So I was just wondering if you guys at  Pluggedin would review this if it were to come out. I am aware that you usually don't review  directors/unrated cuts. But considering that a big reason why a lot of people hated (or, in my case, didn't see it in the first place)  the theatrical Venom was because of how it strayed from what was promised in the trailer. Namely, a dark, violent, semi horror anti-superhero film.  
-Davidiswise The Clown

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Well, they did review the R rated cut of Batman v Superman when it came out on dvd and they also reviewed GTA V when it was rereleased on the PS4 and Xbox One, so Plugged In reviewing the extended cut of Venom, should it ever get released, isn’t out of the question.