It would seem that Ruben Fleischer's Venom is pulling off a Little Engine That Could act. The film entered theaters a little more than a week ago to low expectations and negative reviews, but still managed to set an October record with an $80 million weekend. And even with that performance it was still believed that the numbers would be very front-loaded, with all the members of the "must-see" audiences going in the first three days. It turns out that wasn't really the case, as the comic book movie only had a modest drop in its second week. Check out the Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis.
That $35.7 million take is a 55.5% drop compared to what Venom made when it opened - and that's really neither impressive nor devastating. Sure, it's better to get closer to 50%, which is what the healthiest of blockbusters can do, but it's also far enough way from the dreaded 60% that it can be called respectable. The money that it made is basically the best that Sony could have hoped for given all the factors in play.
The film, which cost a more modest $100 million to make, is now nearing $150 million (it will have it before the start of next weekend), but even that total doesn't compare to what the feature is doing overseas. Audiences abroad are really loving seeing Tom Hardy pal around with alien goo, as foreign territories have brought in $235.3 million so far, bringing the worldwide total to a number just short of $380 million. By the time the movie is finished it won't exactly be counted among the Top 5 of 2018, given that we've seen three billion dollar hits already, but there's a solid chance it will be in the Top 15.
So what does this mean? For Sony, it certainly suggests that audiences are interested in Spider-Man related movies that don't feature Spider-Man. It's been reported that the budding franchise is next going to work on a film about Morbius The Living Vampire, starring Jared Leto, but surely moves are being made behind the scenes to develop Venom 2. It's a shame given that this success is going to take some great characters and foes for Tom Holland's wall-crawler off of the table for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it sounds like the fans have spoken.
What's good news for Venom, however, is basically bad news for everything else - especially the crop of new wide releases, none of which were able to take a position above third place. Winning the bronze medal this time around was Damian Chazelle's First Man. Universal has big hopes for the film, which chronicles Neil Armstrong's journey to become the first person to walk on the moon, but they probably aren't too happy with its $16.5 million opening. While it's certainly packaged as a prestige picture, and it's very likely we'll hear about it a lot during award season, it also cost $59 million to make. It's likely that the plan is to make that money back in the long run, but surely the studio was hoping for a bigger box office impact.
Truth be told, First Man only barely got third place, as only $275,000 separates it from Ari Sandel's Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, which came in fourth. The positive way to look at things is not only that the number isn't much smaller than its series predecessor, which made $23.6 million on the same weekend three years ago, but also that the new feature cost nearly $25 million less to make. Plus, while it might share an audience with Eli Roth's The House With A Clock In Its Walls (which fell three slots this week), there's a good chance that parents continue to take their kids to see the movie as we get closer to Halloween.
Lastly we have Drew Goddard's Bad Times At The El Royale, which came in seventh with $7.2 million in the bank. This is other case where the movie didn't cost all that much money to make, with a reported budget of only $32 million, but Fox was probably hoping that names like Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth and Dakota Johnson would bring in audiences. Sadly, we live in an era where IP is valued much more highly than movie stars, leaving the ticket-buying crowd limited.
This week we will see the arrival of only one new wide release, but it's big one as David Gordon Green's Halloween is ready to dominate. It's easy to predict it will be the new number one, but how much will it make? And how much attention will it take away from the other titles currently in theaters? Join me next Sunday to find out.