Moviegoing was never going to die – to state the obvious: a good movie will always convince people to put down the remote and travel to the theater. That is especially true if said movie is already part of a popular IP. Enter Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the sequel to the Sony/Marvel 2018 hit which delivers a record-breaking $90.1M this weekend. That debut is 12% higher than its predecessor’s $80.2M open, and leaps past Black Widow’s $80.8M to make Venom 2 the best three-day open of 2021. The theatrical exclusive also claims the second-best open for the month of October (only behind 2019’s Joker).
Exhibition also scored a record thanks to Venom 2. Cinemark reported the largest single-day gross for the pandemic on Friday Oct 01, and IMAX reported the biggest October weekend (globally) of all time. Venom 2 moved release dates from Oct 15 to Oct 01 fairly quickly – but an excellent marketing campaign by the Sony team ensured that butts were in seats for the right weekend. And by the way, Deadline reported that 64% of those butts belonged to the 18-34 crowd.
Venom 2 dominates the headlines, but studios dropped two more new movies alongside it. United Artists nabbed an $18M weekend with The Addams Family 2 – the follow up to 2019’s The Addams Family. The sequel surpasses The Boss Baby: Family Business to score the highest day-and-date animated family film during the pandemic. The film opened in theaters and on PVOD (for 20 bucks), but likely benefitted from the lack of competition in the genre right now.
The second new film was The Many Saints of Newark from Warner Bros., which had a $5M opening weekend. A prequel to the popular TV series The Sopranos, the audience had already been accustomed to keeping up with the story at home. So, they may have chosen to stay home for the release – but with a lack of headlines about how Many Saints did on HBO Max, it’s likely lukewarm on the streamer too. Maybe it would have helped to put “Sopranos” somewhere in the title.
The all-in for the full weekend totaled to $125.9M, largely thanks to the new releases. That’s the third highest open It is worth noting that Shang-Chi came ahead of Many Saints for third place with $6M. That brings Shang-Chi to a $206M domestic total, the first film to break $200M during the pandemic.
Venom 2’s high opening weekend will help it survive against the stacked competition that it will face throughout October – namely No Time to Die this Friday 10/08. Ahead of its stateside debut, James Bond has picked up a massive $119.1M overseas from 54 markets (-17% from Spectre, and equal to Skyfall).
Expect the Daniel Craig movie to make a big splash here too. And don’t forget, October has plenty more to offer.