As you may have noticed, despite the dire, dire reviews, Venom was a big hit for Sony, setting a frakking record for biggest October opening ever with $80 million, and the seventh best opening for Sony ever after, you’ll never guess what: Unbeleivably

At this level, Venom reps Sony’s seventh-best domestic opening of all-time, behind Spider-Man 3 ($151.1M), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($117M), Spider-Man ($114.8M), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6M), Skyfall ($88.3M), and Spider-Man 2 ($88.1M).

 

It’s already at more than $300 mil worldwide. All this comes after the movie was considered a disaster internally before it opened. If you read The Ankler showbiz newsletter, (you should) which doesn’t spend much time on superhero concerns, Venom has been the subject of gossip for months, with, as you can easily tell, the comedic shell reportedly grafted onto the original horror film in editing. This kind of script trouble may have doomed big ticket items like Solo and Justice League, but NO ONE expected Venom to be a hit, so maybe people just didn’t care as much.

As it stands, Venom is poised to surpass Justice League at the box office, a gut punch that must have WB execs sliding to the bathroom floor in sobs.

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How? WHY??? Well, people …. like Venom? The character was a huge hit in the 90s, maybe Avi Arad was right this time.

But seriously, Venom does have an all-time-amazing performance in Tom Hardy’s wacky portrayal – it’s got passion, and somehow that sold it to audience.

Plus, in my review, I added a footnote that the movie boasted a very diverse cast, but the film spoke to diverse audiences as well, says THR:

One big reason for Venom’s success: it appealed to an ethnically diverse audience of fanboys — more so than most superhero titles (Black Panther being the big exception). While Caucasians made up 38 percent of Venom ticket buyers on opening weekend, overall sales were fueled by Hispanics (26 percent), African-Americans (18 percent), Asians (11 percent) and Native American/Other (6 percent), according to those with access to comScore and Screen Engine’s PostTrak exit-polling service.

By way of comparison, the opening-weekend breakdown for this summer’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, from Disney and Marvel Studios, consisted of Caucasians (53 percent), Hispanics (19 percent), African-American (15 percent), Asian (8 percent) and Native American/Other (4 percent).

Venom is the latest sign that the general moviegoing population is becoming more diverse in certain instances in the wake of such films as Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians and Get Out. Diversity played a starring role at the summer box office in terms of those showing up for event films including The Meg and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. In summer 2015, 54 percent of the opening-weekend audience for Jurassic World was Caucasian; that stat dropped to 48 percent in the case of its sequel Fallen Kingdom. And since hit movies tend to create a certain momentum, satisfied consumers are more likely to return to take in another pic, irrespective of whether or not they see themselves specifically represented on the big screen.

This interest from a range of audiences is also behind the high level of buzz for Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse, which features Peter Parker AND Miles Morales, and opens this December. Everyone is on board for this one:

Spider-Verse also has three directors — Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman — and Deadline caught up for Persichetti for a quick conversation leading up to his flight to New York to join the Saturday morning panel at Comic Con. He was giddy abut the fan feedback in recent weeks as more and more of the film’s animation has hit the Internet, including a trailer earlier this week.

“I was hoping the reaction would be positive but it’s been beyond my expectations, really,” Perischetti said. “I can’t overstate how amazing it has been to watch things come together in a wonderful way that even I didn’t expect.”

While some may have hoped that Venoms’s tanking would have scuttled Sony’s bizarre plans for a Silver Sable movie, it instead seems to have emboldened them. It’s also put to bed any notion that there is yet such a thing as “Super hero fatigue.”

It’s also given us…Venom/Eddie Brock Slash. As you may know, the most startling scene in Venom featured the two side of the symbiote making out, although Michelle Williams was somehow involved as well. But in the popular imagination of Twitter and Tumblr, it’s #veddie and/or #symbrock all the way.  Or even the more prosaic #venomeddie, as Venom’s prehensile tongue…you  know. I’ll just stop right there.

 

Search for yourself, but possibly NSFW! This interpretation has not been entirely absent from the comics, but Tumblr went there.

Anyway, all this proves that Venom is a thoroughly modern superhero movie. We’ve had enough superheroes? Not by a long shot.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s be clear, a lot of the complaints came from “uber fans” that think they are professional movie reviewers (and write for blogs) and thus feel their farts are much talented than what they see at anytime. What they missed is that fans enjoy the character VENOM, and what this block buster amount means, we’ll get more VENOM and hopefully with SPIDERMAN involved.

  2. The idea that people of any color went to see Venom because of its “diverse cast” is bizarre. Black people went because of Eddie’s boss? Asians went because of the lady who ran the store? Seriously?

    Mike

  3. In the article “Martin Scorsese on Rotten Tomatoes, Box Office Obsession and Why ‘Mother!’ Was Misjudged” the great filmmaker nailed it.
    The box office obsession is a disease, almost no one debate about the (lack of) quality of the current cinema. I don’t care about Venom’s box office, all I know is that is an awful movie. Its success is a symptom of the poor quality of the contemporary blockbusters.
    There were blockbusters like Matrix, Total Recall (1990), Robocop (1987), Bourne trilogy etc that were food for thought but nowadays the shallow Marvel movies seem to be the model to follow and the quality is declining alarmingly.

  4. @Pessoa, stop raining on everyone’s parade. No one expects Venom or any other pop culture film to be fine cinema. It’s a fun movie for a casual audience looking to have a fun time at the theater. The history of film is littered with so-called “low brow” crowd pleasers like the monster movies, cheesy sci-fi, slasher films, and generic action franchises. Get over this “cinema is dead” garbage, or at least go complain about it elsewhere. And try to also have fun the next time you watch a movie.

  5. “There were blockbusters like Matrix, Total Recall (1990), Robocop (1987), Bourne trilogy etc that were food for thought”

    Read a book, for pity’s sake. The original Total Recall and Robocop are damn good movies but if that’s your version of “food for thought,” you need to basically rent a room in your public library for the next five years.

    Mike

  6. @MBunge
    I read books and graphic novels, but what I wanted to say is that action blockbusters don’t need to be brainless to entertain.

    @Nick
    Pop cinema isn’t synonym of poor quality. Pixar movies until 2010 (with the exception of Cars) were fine cinema for everyone with genuine sentiment, not something shallow and artificial.
    I don’t think cinema is dead, there are great filmmakers that keep cinema alive. I am a sci-fi fan and I am happy that there great creators like Alfonso Cuaron, Gilles Vileneuve, Alex Garland that devote their time and talent to that genre.
    However, I think box office obsession is killing cinema. Box office should interest only to producers and not to moviegoers.
    I think it’s weird corporate fans that are joyful when a movie goes beyond the boundary of 1 bi and people that spend more time debating about box office than arguing about the quality of the movies. And the quality of a film isn’t translated in a percentage of rottentomatoes, like was implicit in Martin Scorsese article.

  7. Fans need to stop defending the most brainless movies as “fun.” They should aim higher.

    On one hand, fans will praise a well-made superhero movie — say, The Dark Knight or Logan — as a flawless masterpiece, up there with The Godfather or Taxi Driver as a great movie for adults.

    But when a dumb superhero movie comes out, fans will essentially say: “Hey, it’s a superhero movie! What do you expect? It’s supposed to be mindless popcorn entertainment!”

  8. “The idea that people of any color went to see Venom because of its “diverse cast” is bizarre.”

    The audience for “Venom” was even more heavily male and under 25 than is usual for a superhero movie. The movie hit its target demographic.

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