Sony, which doesn’t mess around with theatrical day-and-date releases like some other motion picture studios, can celebrate their Marvel sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage crossing the $200 million mark in the US and Canada. It is the second movie to do so during Covid, after Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. That latter Marvel title looks to stand at $224.4M by the end of this weekend as the theatrical release, which launched over Labor Day, finally hits homes on Disney+.
Worldwide, Venom 2 will be well north of $430M by EOD tomorrow. This weekend, Venom 2 is on track to make $3.7M in its 7th weekend, landing at $202.4M by the end of Sunday.
Sony hopscotched Venom 2 around the calendar, and with good reason, protecting its theatrical release, as they knew they had a great movie which ultimately wound up with 4 stars from audiences on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak.
Also, connecting Sony’s Marvel movie to the rest of the greater Disney MCU also helped. At various points, Venom 2 was dated on Sept. 17, then Sept. 24 and then Oct. 15 against Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween Kills. All of this changed, with Venom 2 heading to the first weekend of October after the Culver City lot saw Shang-Chi put up fantastic business over Labor Day weekend with a $94.6M 4-day, $75.3M 3-day.
Despite Sony’s last minute switch in early September to a first weekend October launch, their marketing pivoted at a last minute’s notice and got Venom 2 to open to the best opening of the pandemic over 3-days with $90M. Even better, it was the second-best opening stateside for October, behind 2019’s Joker ($96.2M). The sequel hit the $100M mark in 5 days, tying with Shang-Chi to the century mark, and pacing quicker than Disney/Marvel’s Eternals, Black Widow (6-days), and Universal’s F9 (8 days).
Venom 2 saw a bulk of walk-up business at the theater in its opening weekend due to hot word of mouth, with PostTrak showing that only 19% of the audience bought their tickets in advance (by either a week or month ago). Sixty-six percent of those who watched the Sony sequel bought their ticket day-of, while 15% bought their tickets the day prior.
In regards to the most influential piece of marketing for Venom 2, those polled by PostTrak said it was the pic’s YouTube trailer (20%), followed by the pic’s trailer in theater (14%), social media/celebrity endorsement of the pic (13%), friends and family recommending (10%) and the online trailer (10%).
In addition, 43% of those who bought a ticket to the sequel because it was a part of a franchise they enjoyed, 40% came for the genre/plot, 25% came with a friend who wanted to see it, 23% heard the sequel was good, while 21% came out for star Tom Hardy, 21% for the entire cast, and only 10% because of film reviews which were just under 60% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Spider-Man universe is the gift that keeps on giving for Sony: On Dec. 17 they have their Disney/Marvel co-production Spider-Man: No Way Home, which many are aggressively predicting is the first $100M domestic opening during Covid.