Venom took its shots from critics but fired back at the box office with $80M in its first three days. That shatters the previous October opening weekend record set by Gravity ($55.8M) in 2013.
Audiences weren’t scared off by reviewers who left Venom with a 31% Rotten rating (as of this writing) on Rotten Tomatoes. Clearly, the brand interest was too strong with Venom being an immensely popular character in Spider-Man lore.
The question now is: what happens next?
Moviegoers gave Venom a “B+” CinemaScore, which isn’t ideal, but Suicide Squad had a lot of staying power with that same rating. Sony Pictures will hope for a similar result with Venom, as there is an entire universe riding on the film. Sony wants and needs Venom to be a successful franchise, so they’ll be looking for any reason at all to justify a sequel and they may already have it.
At this point, it would probably take a complete nosedive in the second and third weekends and poor international results to scare Sony away from a Venom sequel and Morbius, the next film in line for Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters. The money looks like it’s going to be right and the film’s creative shortcomings can be addressed the next time around.
There’s been a lot of praise for star Tom Hardy, even in some of the most harshly-negative reviews. That is something Sony can build off of, as it wouldn’t be surprising at all for the studio to stick with Hardy, but perhaps pair him with a different director for the sequel. The tonal conflict in Venom is obvious, but the movie Tom Hardy was trying to make was clearly better than whatever director Ruben Fleischer was trying to accomplish.
The Venom sequel, though, can be figured out at another time. Today, Venom fans can enjoy the box office victory.
SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations