Audiences just can’t look away from a certain alien symbiotic creature in the first weekend of October. While the villain’s friendly neighborhood comic book rival was nowhere to be found, (off in the depths of the MCU not feeling too well) as the solo origin of Venom has proved itself to be a record-breaking success story. The first installment of Sony’s Spider-Verse will own the charts as the highest performing October release of all time, since it took home a $32.75 million opening on Friday, including its Thursday $10 million earnings. While early tracking projected the spin-off to earn between $55-65 million, Venom is looking at a $75 million debut weekend, surpassing 2013’s Gravity, which previously held the October record with $55.7 million.
Venom was met with early mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, often calling it a throwback to Marvel’s darker days with a feel much like that of Catwoman and Daredevil. CinemaBlend’s review said what many feared, the film couldn’t stand on its own without Spider-Man sharing some of the spotlight. Apparently, Lady Gaga fans even waged a Twitter war against Venom, by tweeting out criticisms in hopes for her proper film debut, A Star is Born to gain more theater attendance. Yet none of this could keep fans away with these record-breaking numbers, according to Box Office Mojo results.
Venom follows reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), obsessed with exposing genius billionaire Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) and his unethical foundation. While digging deeper into his exposé, Brock bonds with the alien symbiote, giving him incredible powers and violent desires. The film is the beginning of a planned Spider-Verse franchise helmed by Sony to include spin-offs of other Marvel characters. Some of the studios plans include films for Morbius the Living Vampire, Silver Sable, Black Cat and Silk. Since Venom is set to become a record-breaking hit at the box office, these plans will likely move forward, even without most critics behind it.
Behind Venom in earnings is A Star is Born which also debuted this weekend. The critically-acclaimed film starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in a retelling of an age-old Hollywood classic story only made half as much with $15.8 million on Friday. While the film has received glowing praise since it was first screened, it certainly won’t compete with the curiosity and buzz surrounding Venom this weekend, as it makes a more solid mark on the box office. However, A Star is Born could very likely be winning the praise of Academy as awards season rolls around with the film’s dazzling reception.
With October typically being a month for big box office earners to slow down and award season hopefuls to roll in, the placement of Venom for this weekend was certainly a smart decision for Sony and it is paying off this weekend with a huge turnout.