Reaching Pre-Pandemic Levels, ‘Venom’ Debuts $ 90.1 Million | Business and finance


NEW YORK (AP) – Pandemic cinema is finally starting to look like pre-pandemic cinema. Sony Pictures’ Marvel Sequel “Venom: let there be carnage” blew expectations for its debut with $ 90.1 million in ticket sales, easily making it the best opening in the pandemic, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was due to open with nearly half that total. But the film, which is released exclusively in theaters, even surpassed the debut of the 2018 original. “Venom,” the offshoot of “Spider-Man” that introduced Tom Hardy’s parasitic alien symbiote, launched with $ 80.3 million. Only the 2019 “Joker” ($ 96.2 million) opened bigger in October.

The result – with strong international sales for the James Bond film “No time to die” – was the best news for movie theaters in over 18 months.

“With apologies to Mr. Twain: The death of films has been greatly exaggerated,” Tom Rothman, president and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, said in a statement.

MGM’s “Let There Be Carnage” and “No Time to Die” were originally scheduled to open last year. Believing the best box office comeback would come with an exclusive theatrical release, both studios (neither of which have major streaming platforms) have withstood better cinema conditions. Over the weekend, their wait was rewarded.

“No Time to Die,” which opens in North America on Friday, launched with $ 119.1 million in 54 foreign markets. The pace, according to MGM and Universal Pictures (which owns many international rights), was roughly in line with the opening of “Fall from the Sky. After its London premiere last week,“ No Time to Die ”- the 25th Bond film and Daniel Craig’s latest outing as a super spy – grossed $ 25.6million in the UK and Ireland. Its $ 11.4million on Saturday had the best day at the box – office for any Bond film in its own territory.

Prior to “Let There Be Carnage”, the main pandemic overtures had been Walt Disney’s “Black Widow” ($ 80 million), “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($ 75 million) and “Fast and Furious. Universal Pictures’ Suite ‘F9’ ($ 70 million). ‘Black Widow’ launched simultaneously in homes, prompting trial of star Scarlett Johansson which was settled last week. “Shang-Chi”, “F9” and “Let There Be Carnage” only made their theatrical debuts.

“Movies can only become cultural when people see them together on the biggest and best screens and have that experience as a group,” said Josh Greenstein, president of Sony Motion Pictures Group. “You cannot reproduce this on your own at home.”

After many delays, Sony has finally brought forward the release of the sequel to “Venom”, directed by Andy Serkis and starring Woody Harrelson as the foe of Venom Carnage, by two weeks. Abroad, he also added $ 13.8 million in Russia.

“We have seen the health of ‘Shang-Chi’ and it has given us confidence that when the product is there, the box office will return,” said Adrian Smith, Sony’s head of distribution. “It’s very encouraging to see the demand for theatricality.”

Not everything bounces back in theaters and quickly like the Marvel movies and the biggest brands. Family outings are still in slow motion, as are ticket sales in arthouse cinemas. Older audiences and families with unvaccinated children were more cautious.

“The Addams Family 2”, an animated sequel to MGM and United Artists Releasing, opened with $ 18 million despite terrible reviews (27% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) from critics. The film, a sequel to the 2019 cartoon reboot, was released simultaneously on video-on-demand.

“The Many Saints of Newark”, the long-standing prequel to “The Sopranos,” failed. The film, co-written by The creator of the “Sopranos” David Chase and takes place decades before HBO’s flagship series, which opened with $ 5 million. The film, like all of Warner Bros. in 2021, also aired on HBO Max for subscribers – a practice some filmmakers, including Chase, have denounced. The studio has pledged to return to exclusive theatrical windows in 2022.

But movie shows, especially those that particularly appeal to young men, drove an even larger share of theatrical releases this year. Marvel’s “Shang-Chi”, the studio’s first film directed by an Asian superhero, dominated last month in theaters. It had been the # 1 movie for four straight weeks. “Shang-Chi” this weekend became the first film to surpass $ 200 million nationally, with a cumulative total of $ 206.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $ 386.9 million in the world

Large format screens are also helping to stimulate the recovery. With $ 30 million in global sales, IMAX had its best October weekend ever. Megan Colligan, president of IMAX Entertainment, called it proof of “what today’s box office is capable of.”

“The perception may be that these films are outperforming,” said Colligan, “but the reality is that a lot of people underestimate how excited global consumers are about returning to the movies.”

Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.

1. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”, $ 90.1 million

2. “The Addams Family 2”, $ 18 million

3. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, $ 6 million

4. “The Many Saints of Newark”, $ 5 million

5. “Dear Evan Hansen”, $ 2.5 million

6. “Free boy”, $ 2.28 million

7. “Candyman”, $ 1.2 million

8. “Jungle Cruise”, $ 680,000

9. “The Music of Jesus”, $ 560,000

10. “Titanium”, $ 516,000

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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