‘Venom’ Shatters Box Office Record, Outshines ‘A Star Is Born’
“Venom (2018)” proves to be a formidable foe at the box office, delivering a record-breaking $80 million from theaters in North America alone on its debut weekend. It set a new record for the biggest October opening weekend, surpassing “Gravity” which brought in $55.7 million in 2013.
The Marvel antihero movie’s haul exceeded the expectation by roughly 30 percent despite some awful reviews from critics. The Tom Hardy-led flick scored an average rating of 4.5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, while audience gave it B+ in CinemaScore exit polls.
Adrian Smith, president of domestic distribution for Sony, was even surprised by the record-breaking opening. “I did not see $80 million coming,” he said, though noting that the studio was always confident about the movie’s performance.
Placing second on this weekend’s chart, Lady GaGa‘s “A Star Is Born” also exceeded the industry analysts’ expectation with an estimated $41.3 million on its first weekend. The remake directed by and starring Bradley Cooper received a strong buzz prior to its theatrical debut, thanks to critics’ reviews during its screenings at several film festivals.
“We knew we had a hit,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeffrey Goldstein of the musical drama. ”We also knew that every time people saw the movie, they felt it, they cried, they loved it. People just like the movie.”
The two movies’ performances pushed the ticket sales in North America to a total of roughly $174.5 million, a record for a weekend in October, which tends to be a slow month for the movie market. The previous highest ticket sales in October was in 2015, when “The Martian” helped generate total domestic ticket sales of $163.5 million, after adjusting for inflation.
Phil Contrino, director of media and research for the National Association of Theater Owners, commented on the weekend’s ticket sales, “The box office prospers and expands when there are diverse options.”
Sitting at No. 3 is “Smallfoot“, which dropped one place from No. 2 last week. It added an estimated $14.9 million to its domestic revenue. Former champion “Night School“, meanwhile, plunged to No. 4 with additional $12.3 million, dropping 55% from last weekend. Losing two spots, “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” rounds out the top five with approximately $7.3 million.
Next week, the box office is expected to receive a strong boost again with the release of horror movie “Halloween (2018)“. With Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode, it is estimated to bring in at least $60 million.
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