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Venom’s surprisingly strong weekend sets October record

$80 million debut should guarantee a Venom 2

tom hardy as venom Sony Pictures
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Venom may be a critical mishmash but commercially, the $80 million worth of tickets it sold set a record for an October open, reports Box Office Mojo.

The $80 million is per Sony Pictures’ estimate, more than enough to top the previous October premiere weekend record, 2013’s Gravity ($55.7 million).

Venom’s surprise box office totals don’t square with the critical reception it got; Rotten Tomatoes splats it with a 32 percent fresh overall, 21 percent among top critics. Teenage boys, unsurprisingly, love it. They make up the largest portion of the audience, per Mojo: 59 percent were dudes, and two-thirds of the butts taking seats were under 25 years old. That might explain why Venom takes an 89 percent “liked it” among the audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Our take: Tom Hardy’s performance stands out in an otherwise “big, clunky comic-book movie” that merits a sequel thanks to him. And the $80 million draw in a shoulder-season month should convince Sony Pictures to greenlight one, too. That places the film in the company of Solo: A Star Wars Story and Ant-Man and the Wasp among 2018 opening weekends, and is good for No. 7 overall.

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