Venom has scored the biggest second week opening in China ever for a superhero film.
The franchise-starter, despite unfavorable reviews, did what Universal’s Dark Universe failed to do last year with The Mummy — open big. Venom, a film that managed to roll in $80 million in its domestic gross, has succeeded in jump-starting Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters (SUMC). It has also made it big in China, making the Tom Hardy headliner the second best opening weekend for a superhero movie in the country.
The movie, directed by Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame and starring Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, debuted with a whopping $34.5 million on opening day. The symbiote–oozing flick managed to squeeze over $111 million by the end of its run within that weekend, cementing its place behind Avengers: Infinity War, according to a report from Deadline. Currently, Venom has earned a worldwide gross of over $676 million at the box office, with media outlets such as Comicbook.com predicting that it could cross $700 million at the end of its run.
There is no doubt a sequel is in the cards, and if it can somehow retroactively add the Spider-Man character, fix the tonal and story problems, and give audiences a hardcore R-rating, it could be even more successful than its predecessor. Of course, the situation with the Spider–Man film rights could be an issue.
The other side of this equation is the House of Mouse, which is home to the brighter Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sony needs to maintain a good relationship with Marvel and not burn any bridges, as they may not bail Sony out again if the next picture in the SUMC is not so lucky. Their value as a company needs to remain profitable. The other problem is Avi Arad, Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal have a rocky business relationship, which is a topic best left kept for another day.
Venom stars Tom Hardy as the antihero of the same name, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott and Jenny Slate. Ruben Fleischer is directing from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner and Kelly Marcel. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal are producing while Palak Patel and Eric Fineman are overseeing the project for Columbia Pictures. Sony Pictures are distributing. Venom is out now in cinemas.