Image: Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures has been cautiously optimistic about the performance of Venom: Let There Be Carnage due to the pandemic, shifting its release dates left and right, but it turns out that the studio didn’t really have anything to worry about. The antihero film starring Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson managed to score $90.1 million in the domestic box office in its first weekend, beating not only initial projections but the $80.2 million opening of the original. The earnings actually put Venom: Let There Be Carnage above Black Widow, which held the previous pandemic US/Canada record with $80.2 million.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s performance has also made it one of the best-performing films for the month of October, according to Deadline:

Venom 2’s opening here in U.S. and Canada, while the highest we’ve seen during the pandemic, is the second best ever for the month of October, behind Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron’s Joker ($96.2M).

“For us, Venom: Let There Be Carnage absolutely validates our exclusive theatrical window strategy,” said Sony President, Motion Pictures Group Josh Greenstein. “If you look at the history of theatrical, the obituaries have been written many times and they’ve always been wrong. We had confidence in the theatrical experience, confidence in our big valuable IP and took full advantage and had the patience to weather all of this. That strategy is paying off which we’re happy about. It’s a nice validation of the theatrical strategy.”

“We are so grateful to Tom, Andy, Kelly and all of the many gifted contributors who made such a unique and fun film,” added Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group. “We are also pleased that patience and theatrical exclusivity have been rewarded with record results. With apologies to Mr. Twain: The death of movies has been greatly exaggerated.”

No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond, also debuted this week with impressive numbers. While No Time to Die won’t be released in the US until Friday, the film is already performing nicely in the UK and other international markets, having earned $119.1 million in its opening weekend thus far.

Source: Deadline (1, 2)

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