‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Gobbling Up $71M+ Weekend, Second Best Friday During Pandemic With $37M+

Exits here for Venom 2 are good enough to send ticket sales into the October annals with a B+ CinemaScore, the same as the first movie, and a PostTrak of 76% positive and a 65% definite recommend from general audiences. Kids under 12 loved it at 88% positive, a 66% definite recommend, with an overall pull of 67% guys, 50% over 25, with 57% falling between the vibrant pandemic moviegoing demo of 18-34.
Woody Harrelson counts 5.3M and is nicely activated, as well as director Serkis at 1.2M. Social media champs for Venom 2 include Tom Hardy, with one social channel on Instagram at 7.3M fans, who is using it very effectively to promote his projects and partners with per-post engagement running from 80K up to 1.5M. Naomie Harris (who’s in Venom this week and No Time To Die next week) with 461K, plus soundtrack artist Skylar Grey at 2.3M.
3.) The Many Saints of Newark (NL) 3,181 theaters Fri $2.1M, 3-day $7M/Wk 1
All together with everything, many are figuring another $100M+ weekend during the pandemic. Exhibitors, studios, moviegoers, popcorn manufacturers — everybody wins.
Venom 2 is already far ahead of A Quiet Place 2 with its preview night making 2.4x more than that horror film which did $4.8M. Sony has told the media that they're comping the sequel to A Quiet Place Part II which did $47.5M over its 3 days of Memorial Day weekend, however, other tracking services and even major exhibitors' own internal projections have Venom 2 over $60M.
5, 2018), and Paranormal Activity 3 ($26.3M, Oct. 4, 2019), Halloween ($33M, Oct. 19, 2018), Venom ($32.5M, Oct. 21, 2011). The top four opening days at the October box office are Joker ($39.3M, Oct. Venom 2 is definitely north of Paranormal Activity 3.
MGM/UAR/Bron Creative's The Addams Family 2 will take the No. Rotten Tomatoes is at 22%, but it's a kids' movie, and they don't care about critics. As we told, the movie is available in homes for $19.99 as a 48-hour PVOD rental. 2 spot with a $4.5M Friday (including last night's previews) and weekend that's at $14M-$16M booked at 4,207 theaters in the No. 2 spot.
Other notables this weekend: Chal Mera Putt 3 from Rhythm Boyz Entertainment and filmmaker Janjot Singh is looking at an estimated $210K Friday and 3-day of $674K for a very good $7,4K theater average. The threequel, about the lives of illegal immigrants in the UK, their friendship, and their constant struggle of finding a home away from home, did most of its business in Canada.
5.) Dear Evan Hansen (Uni) 3,364 theaters Fri $730K (-78%), 3-day $2.4M (-68%), Total: $11.7M/Wk 2
Warner Bros.' The Many Saints of Newark which is going day-and-date theatrical on HBO Max did not hold Thursday night previews.
That's the second best we've seen during the pandemic after Disney/Marvel's Black Widow which grossed $13.2M on Thursday night from shows that began at 5PM (sans Disney+ Premier for the night). Venom went on to do a $32.5M first day and $80.2M opening weekend, which is the second best ever for the month of October. Even better news: That preview haul is higher than that of the 2018 movie which did $10M off showtimes that began at 5PM. Friday AM Update: Sony's Venom: Let There Be Carnage rang up a great $11.6M Thursday night from showtimes that began at 4PM yesterday at 3,500 theaters.
Saturday AM Update:  If there were any exhibitors out there who were irate about Sony sending nine of their movies straight to streamers and skipping theaters during the pandemic, consider this weekend's Venom: Let There Be Carnage as a big, wet kiss and make-up.
Word of mouth before opening on social, according to RelishMix, was no doubt positive with "chatter for Venom 2 sprinkled by fans though-out Sony Pictures trailers over the Covid shutdown (Escape Room, Ghostbusters, Don’t Breathe 2), with many exclaiming that the Marvel follow-up will be the 'first movie to get me back in a theater'".
All of this is culminating in an overall box office weekend that's around $121M, -20% off from the same weekend in 2019, when Joker ruled. If these figures hold, it will be the top-grossing weekend during the pandemic, besting the 3-day of Black Widow's weekend (July 9-11), when all titles made $119.1M. EntTelligence reports that 2.8M people have watched Venom 2 to date, with close to 75% of the entire moviegoing weekend audience attending the Sony/Marvel sequel between Friday and Thursday.
Warner Bros.' The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark at 3,181 theaters is seeing between $2.5M-$3M on its way to third with $7M. Among the wide releases, the pic has the best reviews at 76% fresh on RT. Many theaters aren't starting showtimes until 3pm. The pic, a spinoff of the award-winning HBO series, is also available on HBO Max.
The Julia Ducournau-directed movie is 84% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. NEON's Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner Titane is posting an estimated $218K Friday and $562K weekend at 562 theaters. Among its theaters in 127 markets, I hear the movie's big city runs are halfway decent. Like all adult-skewing specialty titles in this marketplace, distributors with such fare have to go wider than the handful of NYC and LA runs they use to book during pre-pandemic times.
Any conservative projections here stem from the unpredictable nature of Saturday night business during the pandemic and how front-loaded Venom 2 might be. This should easily put Venom 2 in the mid-to-high $60M range for the weekend. After seeing a bulk of walk-up business last night as well as strong advance ticket sales, the pic is looking at a Friday definitely in the high $20Ms on its way to $30M. Sony is really respecting the theatrical window here with Venom 2: I hear the movie is on a window that far exceeds 45 days. Obviously, the hot word of mouth from Monday's fan screening at Universal Citywalk is spreading: California repped 24% of last night's ticket sales for the Tom Hardy produced, story by and starring Marvel sequel. Rotten Tomatoes is up to 60% fresh now. This all speaks to those who are returning to cinemas for big event pics during the pandemic are splurging. I will say that rival studios have it higher. This includes last night's $11.6M previews, which saw a strong turnout from Latino and Hispanic moviegoers at 25% and PLF and Imax ticket sales repping 32% of Thursday's business. Friday Afternoon Update: The opening day of Sony's Venom: Let There Be Carnage will definitely be one for the record books.
Liongate's documentary  about the faith-based music scene, The Jesus Music, grossed $244K on Friday for what looks to be a $550K opening weekend at 249 theaters in 108 markets. The feature from the Erwin Brothers had some halfway decent runs in the Bible Belt.
That movie palace was a jewel, and fire to getting awards contenders off the ground in their first weekend at the box office. While we've written that when a big cinema in a city market closes, that the audience migrates to another theater in the area, just know that many indie distributors are greatly missing the Hollywood Arclight right now.
The pic is expected to gross in the high teens over three days. The pic is booked at 4,207 locations and available for a 48-hour rental on PVOD for $19.99. We hear that Addams Family 2 did $550K last night from roughly 2,500 theaters. The first movie back in 2019, also directed by Conrad Vernon and which was on a theatrical window, opened to $30.3M. MGM/United Artists Releasing/Bron Creative's The Addams Family 2 held previews that began at 4pm.
Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follows in ranking among big pandemic Thursday nights with $8.8M from showtimes at 6 p.m., and then Universal's F9 which did $7.1M off 7PM showtimes.
Wherever Venom 2, falls it's a superhero gross which isn't worthy of complaint. The "In Association With Marvel" sequel (as it's billed in the opening credits) hopscotched around the calendar before finally deciding on the first weekend October (where the first 2018 movie launched) and is heading toward the fourth-best domestic opening of October with $71.3M, per Sony this morning. However, industry estimates have the Andy Serkis-directed sequel higher at $81.3M, which would be the second-best for the month, behind 2019's Joker ($96.2M) and ahead of Sony's own Venom ($80.2M).
Females, spurred by moms, made up 57% of the audience, which saw 42% under 17. Part 2 here saw business in the West and Southwest, which is where the first film delivered. PostTrak exits were better than CinemaScore at 87% positive and a 73% recommend for parents, while kids under 12 gave it an 82% positive and 67% definite recommend. Diversity demos were 38% Caucasian, a strong 34% Hispanic and Latino turnout, and 16% Black and 12% Asian/other. The animated sequel earned a B CinemaScore, a notch below the 2019 movie's B+.
Diversity demos were 40% Caucasian, a very strong 29% Hispanic and Latino turnout, 16% Black and 15% Asian/other. The West and South were the dominant areas for Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock sequel, with Imax, PLFs and 3D repping since Thursday night a huge 65% of business.
1.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 4,225 Theaters Fri $37.2M, 3-day $71.3M/Wk 1
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2.) The Addams Family 2 (UAR) 4,207 theaters Fri $5.6M, 3-day $15.8M/Wk 1
67% Caucasian, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 5% Black and 8% Asian/other showed up. The prequel played best on the East Coast, which isn't surprise for this mob movie. Moviegoers didn't love this tragic mob tale about Sopranos' Christopher Moltisanti's father, Dickie, played by Alessandro Nivola, as much as critics giving it a C+ CinemaScore, and PostTrack of 77% positive and a 60% definite recommend. Those few who bought tickets instead of subscribing to HBO Max were 52% males, 76% over 25, with half of the audience being between 25-44.
They're always high with fans on Thursday night and even out by tonight. Fans at an AMC Universal Citywalk screening Monday night went bonkers for the Tom Hardy sequel. We'll see how audience exits settle. The current Rotten Tomatoes' review rating for Venom 2 is at 58% Rotten, which is higher than the 2018's first installment of 30% Rotten. We had previously heard that the first day advance ticket sales for Andy Serkis-directed movie were quite potent.
Because it's an older adult-skewing movie, still the reluctant demo during Covid, and on the HBO Max service, no one was expecting this 74% fresh critically acclaimed movie to overindex. Warner Bros./New Line's The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark is coming in at a studio-reported $7M, currently third for the weekend, after a $2.1M Friday. What we're really curious about is the turnout on HBO Max for this long-awaited extension of The Sopranos universe. The pic is coming in within its single digit box office range.
MGM/United Artists Releasing/Bron Creative's The Addams Family 2, even though it's available in homes on a 48-hour rental at $19.99, is posting a solid Friday of $5.5M and weekend of $15.8M in No. 2, which is slightly ahead of where Paramount opened Paw Patrol in late August at $13.1M, which was available free to Paramount+ subscribers day-and-date.
4.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 3,455 (-497) theaters Fri $1.62M (-55%) 3-day $5.8M (-55%), Total: $205.9M/Wk 5
Voltage Pictures' had two special showings of YA romance threequel After We Fell which collected a solid $627K from both the 7pm and 10pm Fathom Events shows.
Venom 2 exceeded the social media universe average for action sci-fi movies with 389.8M followers across YouTube views, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. YouTube views "are exceptional," per RelishMix, at 290.8M and 44.6M on Facebook for 35 videos with owned pages for the film at 1.5M (1.1M Facebook, 442K Instagram, 174K Twitter) and brisk Venom 2 activity on the Sony Facebook, which counts 29M fans. The first Venom hit 754.6M, but included Eminem in the soundtrack, who delivered 134.2M followers, plus music.
Anyone concerned that we could reach summer levels at the October pandemic B.O. Venom 2 had a massive Friday, the second best of the pandemic at $37.3M, behind Disney/Marvel's Black Widow at $39.5M. can rest easy.
We already reported a week ago that the MCU title surpassed Black Widow to becomes the highest grossing movie of the pandemic in U.S. Disney's Shang-Chi grossed over $200M yesterday, the first movie at the domestic box office to reach that feat during the pandemic of the last 20 months. and Canada.
Will Saints defeat the ongoing pandemic norm, whereby those day-and-date titles which underperform in theaters also underperform in the home? The movie is a great tee-up for another Sopranos series about young Tony and his family, and that would be money for HBO Max.
Universal's Dear Evan Hansen will take 5th place at 3,364 theaters with $750K today, -77% from last Friday, and a second weekend of $2.4M, -68%, for a ten-day of $11.7M.
It's the only major studio movie at the domestic box office to reach that level, but there's more competition yet to come this month. Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings at 3,455 theaters is seeing a fifth Friday of $1.7M, -52%, and a weekend of $6.5M, -50%, for a running total by EOD Sunday of $206.5M.
Top 5 pics for the weekend

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