Sony’s Tom Hardy vehicle “Venom” dominated the international box office, taking first in 57 of 58 markets and grossing an impressive $125.2 million from 20,800 screens.
The superhero saga has become the top October launch internationally. The studio said that “Venom” had come in above recent stand-alone superhero titles, topping “Wonder Woman” by 38%, “Ant-Man And The Wasp” by 32% and “Logan” by 29% for the same group of markets at current exchange rates.
South Korea was the top grosser with $16.4 million in five days, topping the lifetime grosses of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Justice League,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Wonder Woman.” Russia followed with $13.6 million, exceeding the final totals in that market for “Ant-Man And The Wasp,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Justice League,” and “Wonder Woman.”
“Venom” drew $10.5 million in the U.K. against the openings of “Johnny English Strikes Again” and “A Star Is Born.” In Mexico, the superhero story posted the best Sony opening ever with $10.2 million. Australia followed with $6.8 million, 64% above “Ant-Man And The Wasp.”
Germany generated $5.7 million and Brazil opened with $5.1 million. Taiwan took in $4.2 million, followed by Malaysia with $3.3 million, India with $2.7 million and Hong Kong with $2.2 million. “Venom” will open on Oct. 10 in France and on Nov. 2 in Japan. It has not yet been set for release in China.
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.
Steven O’Dell, Sony’s international distribution chief, told Variety that the strong performance internationally shows that there’s a significant worldwide fan base for the character. Asked whether there will be another “Venom” movie coming, O’Dell did not offer specifics but said, “Audiences would want more.”
Hong Kong action film “Project Gutenberg,” starring Chow Yun-fat and Aaron Kwok,” led the rest of the pack on the international front with $38 million from six markets, lifting the overall take to $98.4 million. Felix Chong directed from his own script.
Chinese historical drama “Shadow” finished third this weekend with $17.9 million in China. Directed by Zhang Yimou, “Shadow” debuted on Sept. 6 at the 75th Venice International Film Festival and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Chinese comedy “Hello Mrs. Money,” directed by Yuhan Wu, took in $15.6 million in four markets to lift its worldwide total to $747.7 million.
Universal’s spy spoof “Johnny English Strikes Again” finished fifth on the international chart with $14.1 million in 49 markets to lift its worldwide total to $66.5 million. It finished second in the U.K. to “Venom,” opening with $5.5 million. The third “Johnny English” arrives on Oct. 26 in the U.S.
Warner Bros.’ international launch of Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” took in $14 million from 32 international markets. The U.K. saw the top number with $5.3 million, followed by $2.1 million in France and $1.9 million in Germany.