‘Venom 2’ breaks all previous pandemic box-office records with a mammoth $90.1 million opening

Sony and Marvel’s Venom sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, gathered a massive collection at the domestic box office, earning a remarkable $90.1 million in its debut Friday-Sunday weekend. Riding high on success like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the supervillian film shattered all previous pandemic-era benchmarks. It crossed the previous pandemic U.S./Canada debut of Black Widow, which was $80.8 million.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage also outpaced the first Venom film, which garnered $80.3 million over the course of its opening weekend when it was released in 2018. It is also the second-highest October opening in cinematic history, just behind Joker, which generated $96.2 million in 2019.

“We are pleased that patience and theatrical exclusivity have been rewarded with record results,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Tom Rothman.

Even though Sony has sent movies straight to streamers to financially survive during the pandemic, when it comes to whatever titles they’re releasing in theaters, they’re optimistic about the theatrical window. Venom 2 is a win for them and the industry in regards to that business philosophy. Black Widow went day-and-date in cinemas on the Disney+ Premier PVOD tier.

“For us, Venom: Let There Be Carnage absolutely validates our exclusive theatrical window strategy,” said Sony president, Motion Pictures Group, Josh Greenstein. “If you look at the history of theatrical, the obituaries have been written many times, and they’ve always been wrong. We had confidence in the theatrical experience, confidence in our big valuable IP, and took full advantage and had the patience to weather all of this. That strategy is paying off, which we’re happy about. It’s a nice validation of the theatrical strategy.”

Imax, PLFs and 3D are repping 64 per cent of the film’s gross with Cinemark’s XD seeing the strongest October performance of all time. Venom: Let There be Carnage is a box office sensation. This film really resonated with our moviegoers, delivering results that significantly outpace the industry performance, and set multiple all-time Cinemark records, including the largest-ever October box office weekend,” exclaimed Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi. “This is another strong example that people want and need to get out of their homes for an immersive entertainment experience. Congratulations to our partners at Sony and all the talent involved in delivering such a fantastic film for our moviegoers to see exclusively in a movie theatre.”

Venom 2 also made headlines in its first foreign market – Russia, when opening to $13.8 million. It is Sony’s biggest opening of all-time in that market and the best of any film during the pandemic.

Andy Serkis directs the Tom Hardy-starring Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The film, also made in association with Tencent Pictures, co-stars Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Reid Scott and Naomie Harris, the latter as the comic book villain Shriek.