Saturday AM Update: Refresh for analysis and chart If there were any exhibitors out there during the pandemic who were irate about Sony sending nine of their movies straight to streamers, and skipping theaters, consider this weekend’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage a big, wet kiss and make-up. The “In Association With Marvel” sequel (as it’s billed in the opening credits) hopscotched around the calendar before finally deciding on the first weekend October (where the first 2018 movie launched) and is heading toward the fourth best domestic opening of October with $71.3M per Sony this morning. However, industry estimates have the Andy Serkis directed sequel higher at $82.6M, which would be the second-best for the month, behind 2019’s Joker ($96.2M). Either number is a superhero gross which isn’t worthy of complaint.
Venom 2 had a massive Friday, the second best of the pandemic at $37.3M, behind Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow at $39.5M. Anyone concerned that we could reach summer levels at the October pandemic B.O. can rest easy.
Exits here for Venom 2 are good enough to send ticket sales into the October annals with a B+ CinemaScore, the same as the first movie, and a PostTrak of 76% positive and a 65% definite recommend from general audiences. Kids under 12 loved it at 88% positive, a 66% definite recommend with an overall pull of 67% guys, 50% over 25 with 57% falling between the vibrant pandemic moviegoing demo of 18-34. Diversity demos were 40% Caucasian, a very strong 29% Hispanic and Latino turnout, 16% Black and 15% Asian/other. The West and South were the dominant areas for Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock sequel with Imax, PLFs and 3D repping since Thursday night a huge 65% of business.
MGM/United Artists Releasing/Bron Creative’s The Addams Family 2, even though it’s available in homes on a 48-hour rental at $19.99, is posting a solid Friday of $5.5M, and weekend of $15.8M in No. 2, which is slightly ahead of where Paramount opened Paw Patrol in late August at $13.1M, which was available free to Paramount+ subscribers day-and-date. The animated sequel earned a B CinemaScore, a notch below the 2019 movie’s B+ PostTrak exits were better than CinemaScore at 87% positive and a 73% recommend for parents while kids under 12 gave it an 82% positive and 67% definite recommend. Females, spurred by moms, made up 57% of the audience which saw 42% under 17. Diversity demos were 38% Caucasian, a strong 34% Hispanic and Latino turnout and 16% Black and 12% Asian/other. Part 2 here saw business in the West and Southwest which is where the first film delivered.
Friday Afternoon Update: The opening day of Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage will definitely be one for the record books. After seeing a bulk of walk-up business last night as well as strong advance ticket sales, the pic is looking at a Friday definitely in the high $20Ms on its way to $30M. This includes last night’s $11.6M previews, which saw a strong turnout from Latino and Hispanic moviegoers at 25% and PLF and Imax ticket sales repping 32% of Thursday’s business. This all speaks to those who are returning to cinemas for big event pics during the pandemic are splurging. This should easily put Venom 2 in the mid-to-high $60M range for the weekend. I will say that rival studios have it higher. Any conservative projections here stem from the unpredictable nature of Saturday night business during the pandemic and how front-loaded Venom 2 might be. Obviously, the hot word of mouth from Monday’s fan screening at Universal Citywalk is spreading: California repped 24% of last night’s ticket sales for the Tom Hardy produced, story by and starring Marvel sequel. Sony is really respecting the theatrical window here with Venom 2: I hear the movie is on a window that far exceeds 45 days. Rotten Tomatoes is up to 60% fresh now.
The top four opening days at the October box office are Joker ($39.3M, Oct. 4, 2019), Halloween ($33M, Oct. 19, 2018), Venom ($32.5M, Oct. 5, 2018), and Paranormal Activity 3 ($26.3M, Oct. 21, 2011). Venom 2 is definitely north of Paranormal Activity 3.
MGM/UAR/Bron Creative’s The Addams Family 2 will take the No. 2 spot with a $4.5M Friday (including last night’s previews) and weekend that’s at $14M-$16M booked at 4,207 theaters in the No. 2 spot. As we told, the movie is available in homes for $19.99 as a 48-hour PVOD rental. Rotten Tomatoes is at 22%, but it’s a kids’ movie, and they don’t care about critics.
Warner Bros.’ The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark at 3,181 theaters is seeing between $2.5M-$3M on its way to third with $7M. Many theaters aren’t starting showtimes until 3pm. The pic, a spinoff of the award-winning HBO series, is also available on HBO Max. Among the wide releases, the pic has the best reviews at 76% fresh on RT.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings at 3,455 theaters is seeing a fifth Friday of $1.7M, -52%, and a weekend of $6.5M, -50%, for a running total by EOD Sunday of $206.5M. It’s the only major studio movie at the domestic box office to reach that level, but there’s more competition yet to come this month.
Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen will take 5th place at 3,364 theaters with $750K today, -77% from last Friday, and a second weekend of $2.4M, -68%, for a ten-day of $11.7M.
All together with everything, many are figuring another $100M+ weekend during the pandemic. Exhibitors, studios, moviegoers, popcorn manufacturers — everybody wins.
Friday AM Update: Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage rang up a great $11.6M Thursday night from showtimes that began at 4PM yesterday at 3,500 theaters. That’s the second best we’ve seen during the pandemic after Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow which grossed $13.2M on Thursday night from shows that began at 5PM (sans Disney+ Premier for the night). Even better news: That preview haul is higher than that of the 2018 movie which did $10M off showtimes that began at 5PM. Venom went on to do a $32.5M first day and $80.2M opening weekend, which is the second best ever for the month of October.
Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follows in ranking among big pandemic Thursday nights with $8.8M from showtimes at 6 p.m., and then Universal’s F9 which did $7.1M off 7PM showtimes.
We had previously heard that the first day advance ticket sales for Andy Serkis-directed movie were quite potent. The current Rotten Tomatoes’ review rating for Venom 2 is at 58% Rotten, which is higher than the 2018’s first installment of 30% Rotten. We’ll see how audience exits settle. They’re always high with fans on Thursday night and even out by tonight. Fans at an AMC Universal Citywalk screening Monday night went bonkers for the Tom Hardy sequel.
Sony has told the media that they’re comping the sequel to A Quiet Place Part II which did $47.5M over its 3 days of Memorial Day weekend, however, other tracking services and even major exhibitors’ own internal projections have Venom 2 over $60M. Venom 2 is already far ahead of A Quiet Place 2 with its preview night making 2.4x more than that horror film which did $4.8M.
MGM/United Artists Releasing/Bron Creative’s The Addams Family 2 held previews that began at 4pm. The pic is booked at 4,207 locations and available for a 48-hour rental on PVOD for $19.99. The pic is expected to gross in the high teens over three days. The first movie back in 2019, also directed by Conrad Vernon and which was on a theatrical window, opened to $30.3M. We hear that Addams Family 2 did $550K last night from roughly 2,500 theaters.
Voltage Pictures’ had two special showings of YA romance threequel After We Fell which collected a solid $627K from both the 7pm and 10pm Fathom Events shows.
Warner Bros.’ The Many Saints of Newark which is going day-and-date theatrical on HBO Max did not hold Thursday night previews.
Disney’s Shang-Chi grossed over $200M yesterday, the first movie at the domestic box office to reach that feat during the pandemic of the last 20 months. We already reported a week ago that the MCU title surpassed Black Widow to becomes the highest grossing movie of the pandemic in U.S. and Canada.