In a surprise move, the comic book adaptation, starring Tom Hardy as the journalist turned alien symbiote, will debut in theaters earlier than expected on Oct. 1. The “Venom” sequel was scheduled to premiere in October 2020 but, due to the pandemic, was pushed to June 2021, then late September and, most recently, Oct. 15.
Sony announced the new date for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” shortly after Disney reported a bigger-than-anticipated opening weekend for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the studio’s comic book adventure that’s playing only in theaters. The Marvel movie collected $75.5 million over the weekend and a mighty $90 million in its first four days of release, crushing Labor Day weekend records. Those box office receipts were encouraging to studios and movie theater owners alike, who feared the delta variant of COVID-19 would keep moviegoers at home. The well-reviewed “Shang-Chi,” starring Canadian actor Simu Liu and Awkwafina, was a sign that audiences would visit their local multiplex for the right movie.
In recent weeks, Sony has made minor shifts to its release slate. In August, the studio moved “Venom” back three weeks from Sept. 24 to Oct. 15 (before moving it ahead two weeks to Oct. 1) and pushed “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” back one week, from Nov. 11 to Nov. 19, after Paramount took “Top Gun: Maverick” off its Nov. 19 spot and delayed the Tom Cruise tentpole to 2022.
Andy Serkis is directing “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” The first film, 2018’s “Venom,” was a surprise box office smash, generating $855 million at the global box office. The sequel will star Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Reid Scott and Naomie Harris.