Kicking off the fourth quarter of 2021 with a vengeance, Sony’s VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE amassed a staggering $90.1 million in its opening weekend. This beats the debut of the original VENOM, which opened to $80 million back in October of 2018. Finishing second with a somewhat disappointing $18 million was THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2. SHANG-CHI cleaned up third place by taking in $6 million in its fifth weekend. The weekend’s other new opener THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK mustered a mere $5 million. Warner Bros. also made MANY SAINTS available on HBO MAX, and prequel to the iconic TV series THE SPROANOS failed to establish itself as a “must see” feature on the big screen.
VENOM 2’s huge opening was significantly above industry projections and catapulted the weekend to $128 million overall, making it the biggest of the pandemic era, eclipsing the $119 million generated by the weekend of July 9-11 when BLACK WIDOW debuted. The strength of the weekend proves that Exhibition is on its way back. VENOM 2 benefited from being an exclusive release for theatres, showing that the industry has made it back to a time when a good sequel can beat the results of earlier chapters in the series.
On the other hand, the ADDAMS FAMILY 2 with its $18 million opening weekend fell well short of the $30 million take from the original chapter in 2018. This is another example of a new theatrical box office being held back by a studio’s choice to release it streaming simultaneously – Amazon Prime in the case of AF2.
Next week, NO TIME TO DIE will make its North American debut exclusively in theatres. The long-anticipated 25th film in the James Bond franchise has already opened in international markets (except China) to record-breaking results and glowing reviews. It should do very well, and team up with the second week of VENOM 2 to keep the momentum going. October already is shaping up to be a breakthrough month for exhibitors, propelled in the second half releases of HALLOWEEN KILLS on 10/15 and DUNE on 10/22.