Venom is projected to top A Star is Born at the box office this weekend. After a September that saw little of note open in theaters (many of the new releases came and went without much fan fare), multiplexes are about to have a resurgence in the first week of October. Both of the aforementioned new arrivals are high-profile and riding separate waves of buzz. The former is the first comic book adaptation to hit the scene since July, while the latter established itself as a clear Oscar frontrunner following festival screenings earlier in the year.
What’s even better is that there should be plenty of room for both titles to thrive. They’re obviously targeting very different demographics, which means they likely won’t cannibalize each other at the box office. Despite that, Lady Gaga fans organized a campaign to bring Venom down by posting fake negative reviews on social media (making A Star is Born sound more appealing in the process), but their efforts were in vain. Venom is poised to take the #1 spot in what should be an exciting race.
Related: Read Screen Rant’s Venom Review
Per Box Office Pro, Venom should gross approximately $60 million domestically in its first three days, besting Gravity’s all-time October opening weekend record. A Star is Born won’t be far behind, earning a healthy $49 million itself. Last week’s champion, the comedy Night School, is estimated to take a major drop and fall to fourth in its second weekend.
Even though A Star is Born definitely earned the more positive reviews of the two movies, it wouldn’t be surprising for Venom to win the commercial battle. Perhaps smartly (from a business perspective), Sony pursued a PG-13 rating for the project, which opens it up to a wider audience. Additionally, it’s been quite some time since there was a big franchise tentpole debuting in theaters, with Mission: Impossible – Fallout opening near the end of the summer. Yes, The Predator came out a few weeks ago, but that wasn’t much of a box office draw and was limited by its R rating. General audiences have been hungry for a major genre picture for a while, and Venom will likely do the trick. Its projections have been consistent even with negative word-of-mouth spreading.
This is a very positive development for Sony, as they have a lot riding on Venom’s success. The studio has film rights to 900 Marvel characters, and plan on launching their own franchise built around members of Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery. In order for movies like Morbius or Silver & Black to happen, Venom needed to be a hit. It remains to be seen how the numbers actually pan out (remember, at one point, Solo as going to break the Memorial Day weekend record), but Venom is certainly on the right track.
Source: Box Office Pro