×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Venom’ Launches to $80 Million, ‘A Star Is Born’ Draws $42.6 Million

The unlikely dynamic duo of “Venom” and “A Star Is Born” have livened up the fall moviegoing season with the best October weekend of all time in North America.

Tom Hardy’s superhero tale “Venom” grabbed $80 million at 4,250 sites for Sony and Marvel while the Lady Gaga-starring remake of “A Star Is Born” earned an estimated $42.6 million at 3,686 locations for Warner Bros. — both well above pre-weekend forecasts. “Venom” smashed the record for an October opening, topping the $55.8 million launch of “Gravity” by 43%.

“Venom” also dominated at the international box office with $125.2 million, setting an international record for an October opening. South Korea led the way with $16.3 million.

“Venom” and the critically acclaimed “A Star Is Born” were both able to draw effectively from beyond their core audiences. The strong domestic openings pushed the weekend’s total business to about $174 million, or 15% above the prior mark of $151.5 million set in 2015 when Matt Damon’s “The Martian” opened, according to comScore.

Adrian Smith, Sony’s domestic distribution chief, told Variety that the studio was able to overcome downbeat reviews by putting emphasis on “Venom’s” fun factor. “The idea was always to make a film that all audiences could enjoy,” he added.

Sony is hoping “Venom” will launch a shared universe similar to Disney’s lucrative superhero franchise. “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer helmed the film, which carries a $100 million budget. Hardy portrays Eddie Brock, a journalist bound to the alien entity known as Venom.

The fourth iteration of “A Star Is Born,” directed by Bradley Cooper, arrived in theaters amid a wave of positive buzz and an awards campaign that’s gained traction since its debut at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5. The release of the soundtrack album on Friday added to the film’s drawing power, according to Warner’s domestic distribution head Jeff Goldstein.

“This is a movie that will be around for months,” Goldstein added. “There’s a lot of room for growth, particularly among younger audiences.”

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, credited Sony and Warner Bros. with savvy scheduling and noted that “Venom” is yet another success for Marvel.

“A box office star is born as October sings a glorious tune the likes of which the industry has never heard before for the oft overlooked month, as a perfect harmony of superhero blockbuster and Oscar bound musical create one of the most perfectly orchestrated movie weekends at the multiplex in recent memory,” he added. “And the Marvel brand is just unstoppable.”

The weekend lifted the overall domestic total for 2018 to $9.11 billion as of Sunday, up 9.2% over the same point last year, according to comScore. Universal’s “First Man,” Fox’s “Bad Times at the El Royale” and Sony’s “Goosebumps 2” are the major openers next weekend. Universal’s “Halloween” is expected to do strong business of at least $50 million when it opens on Oct. 19.

Warner Bros.’ second weekend of animated entry “Smallfoot” finished third this weekend with $14.4 million at 4,151 venues, followed by Universal’s second session of Kevin Hart-Tiffany Haddish comedy “Night School” with $12.3 million at 3,019 locations. Amblin-Universal’s “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” finished fifth with $7.3 million in its third weekend for a domestic total of $55.1 million and $87.4 million worldwide.

Lionsgate’s fourth weekend of Anna Kendrick’s comic thriller “A Simple Favor” came in sixth with $3.4 million to take its 24-day domestic total to $49 million. Warner’s fifth weekend of horror-thriller “The Nun” followed in seventh with $2.6 million to push its 31-day take to $113 million.

Lionsgate-CBS Films’ second weekend of “Hell Fest” was battling for eighth place with Warner’s eighth weekend of “Crazy Rich Asians” with $2.1 million each. “Asians” has hit $169 million and is 2018’s 10th biggest domestic grosser.

Rounding out the top 10 was Fox’s fourth weekend of “The Predator” with $900,000, giving the sci-fier $50 million in 24 days. Studio 8-Sony’s “White Boy Rick” followed in 11th with $575,000 in its fourth frame to reach $29 million domestically.

National Geographic’s second weekend of rock climbing documentary “Free Solo” finished 12th with $540,000 at only 41 sites, followed by Fox’s debut of teen drama “The Hate U Give” with $500,000 at 36 locations. “The Hate” will go wide on Oct. 19.

RELATED:

More Film

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industries bodies and major companies in Europe and Hollywood joined on Tuesday to welcome a high-level European Union agreement  that in large preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. But the battle is not over to protect this backbone of film-TV business in Europe, warn the same 18 [...]

  • Box Office: 'Aquaman,' 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Box Office: 'Aquaman' Battles 'Mary Poppins Returns' in Crowded Holiday Weekend

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most competitive time at the multiplexes. This weekend sees two very different heroes vying for the box office crown with “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” both eyeing sizable debuts. “Mary Poppins Returns” is getting a head start by opening on Wednesday, though estimates show “Aquaman” [...]

  • John Mulaney's Pitch for 'Spider-Ham' Film

    John Mulaney’s Pitch for ‘Spider-Ham’ Film: ‘‘Spotlight’ ... but Family Friendly'

    There is much to celebrate about “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”: groundbreaking inclusion, a ’90s hip-hop soundtrack, Kathryn Hahn’s neurotic villain. But the arguable breakout star of the film is Peter Porker, aka Spider-Ham, voiced by John Mulaney. The prolific comedy writer, stand-up, and rising animation star (see “Big Mouth”) charms as one of the more [...]

  • Penny Marshall Dead

    Hollywood Pays Tribute to 'Trailblazer,' 'Pioneer' Penny Marshall

    Stars across Hollywood are mourning Penny Marshall, who died Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes, Variety has confirmed. The “Laverne & Shirley” star was 75. Marshall first rose to fame playing Laverne DeFazio in the hit ABC series “Laverne & Shirley” before going on to become the first woman to [...]

  • Warner Bros., Bron Strike $100 Million

    Warner Bros., Bron Strike $100 Million Co-Financing Deal

    Warner Bros. and Bron Creative have closed a $100 million co-financing deal for five movies, including Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” and Rebel Wilson’s “Isn’t It Romantic.” The deal, announced on Tuesday, also covers the “Joker” origin film starring Joaquin Phoenix; crime drama “The Kitchen,” with Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish; action-comedy “Superintelligence,” toplined by McCarthy, Bobby [...]

  • VICE

    Adam McKay Explains the 'Vice' Musical Number He Left on the Cutting Room Floor

    Adam McKay’s “Vice” has clearly divided critics, with some calling it a bold and daring analysis of one of the most pivotal figures in American politics, and others mincing no words in labeling it, full stop, the worst film of the year. (Truly, in the year of a Dinesh D’Souza movie, people are grandstanding with [...]

  • Penny Marshall Obit Dead

    Penny Marshall, 'Laverne & Shirley' Star, Director, Dies at 75

    Penny Marshall, who starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy “Laverne & Shirley” and then became a successful director, died on Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes, Variety has confirmed. She was 75. Marshall was the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content