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.
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.
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.
— Becca 💛 Boston (how am I still traveling) (@rfarrowster) October 12, 2018
Eddie is buying Venom chocolate bar🍫
Everyone draws cool action #Venom #Fanart, but I can only draw cute domestic #VenomEddie
(I heard ship name is #Veddie or #Symbrock ?#Venom2018 #VenomMovie #EddieBrock #猛毒 #埃迪 #毒埃#shoppingDay #doodle #digitalArt #kairukitsuneOart pic.twitter.com/F3bvCsfnJV
— Kairu 🌻 Kitsune ☕ (@kairu_kitsuneO) October 12, 2018
so i went to the cinema to see what's the hype all about,,,,,,, pic.twitter.com/XDyKV3r8R4
— ʙᴀᴛʏᴀɴʏᴀ🤙🏽 | Leon Skenny (@MayFireYana) October 12, 2018
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.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.