Venom: Let There Be Carnage opened over the weekend and not only did it dominate the box office, but it also set a new standard for tentpole releases opening during the pandemic era.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage opened to $90.1 million this weekend which is the second biggest opening in the month of October (behind Joker) and the biggest opening of the pandemic era. This is the very definition of exceeding expectations and it’s another big example that respecting the theatrical window is crucial to a film’s box office performance. The Venom sequel didn’t also have a streaming release. The target demographic came out for this film in a big way and allowed the film to gross well beyond the $60 million it was tracking for this weekend. The other insane feat is that that sequel actually opened higher than its predecessor by 12% ($80.2 million). This would be impressive no matter what but it’s golden during a time when the box office hasn’t 100% stabilized during the pandemic. No matter how you may feel about the film’s quality, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is an important player in terms of box office and it more than proved its place this weekend.
In second we have the debut of The Addams Family 2 which grossed $18 million. The opening is below the $30.3 million start of the first film but opening in the $18 million range considering the film is also available on PVOD for a 48-hour rental for $19.99. The Addams Family 2 can claim, for pure animation geared at families, the biggest opening during the pandemic. MGM is happy with this result and I’m sure the movie also did well via PVOD which validates their decision to go with a hybrid release strategy.
Falling to third is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which grossed $6 million over the weekend. The film had the biggest drop of its run at 54% but that was to expected with Venom: Let There Be Carnage entering the marketplace. Shang-Chi dominated the month of September and has grossed $206.1 million domestically and it’s the first film of the pandemic to hit the $200 million benchmark. Globally the Marvel film has grossed $386.9 million.
In fourth we have The Many Saints of Newark which grossed $5 million over the weekend. I’ll be honest, the opening isn’t strong BUT this is one of those movies that will benefit from the hybrid release strategy. The Many Saints of Newark is also available on HBO Max and I’d bet that the film is probably performing quite well on the platform because the target demo, and Sopranos fans, opted to watch the film at home. Once we have some data on how it performed on HBO Max we’ll have a bigger picture of its success or failure but I honestly think its streaming performance is going to be strong.
Rounding out the top five is Dear Evan Hansen which grossed $2.4 million. That’s a steep tumble of 67% from last weekend but that was to be expected its soft opening a week ago. The fanbase came out for the film last weekend and this week’s take shows that the musical adaption couldn’t expand beyond fans of the Broadway show. To date, Dear Evan Hansen has grossed $11.7 million domestically.
In sixth place, we find Free Guy which grossed $2.2 million. That’s a decline of 45% which is still solid considering it’s giving up some of its biggest screens to Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Free Guy has grossed $117.6 million at the domestic box office.
Falling to seventh place is Candyman which grossed $1.2 million over the weekend. That’s a 52% slide from a week ago but considering the film is already available on PVOD, Universal Pictures is happy with whatever money it can still pull in from its theatrical run. To date, Candyman has grossed $58.9 domestically.
In eighth place, we have the Jungle Cruise still clinging to the top ten with a gross of $680,000. The film fell 61% from last weekend as it begins to wrap up its box office run. The Disney theme park adaptation has grossed $116 million domestically to date.
In ninth and tenth place we have The Jesus Music from Lionsgate and Titane from Neon. The films grossed $560,250 and 515,747, respectively, and considering they’re catering to a very niche audience, their performance this weekend is admirable.
What are YOUR thoughts on this weekend’s box office results?