EXCLUSIVE: On the back of a record-setting opening weekend in China, Sony’s Venom is bonding with a handful of new milestones. With today’s grosses, the Tom Hardy-starrer crosses $700M worldwide, and will hit $500M overseas tomorrow. What’s more, the film is propelling Sony past $2B at the international box office for 2018. That benchmark, one that has not been achieved so early in the year by the Culver City studio since October 31, 2012, was topped through Monday with a total $2.001B.
Based on the Marvel property, the Ruben Fleischer-helmed Venom has been a superhero for Sony since it began its run last month, breaking domestic and global October opening records in its early play. Through Monday, it was at $688.5M worldwide — and with today’s China’s haul ($11.6M), it morphs across $700M to $700.1M. The offshore total through Monday was $481.5M. Figuring Tuesday’s Middle Kingdom add, that lifts to $493.1M, meaning Wednesday will push it over half a billion overseas. It is looking likely to get to $800M worldwide.
On its second domestic weekend, Venom pushed Sony across $1B at the North American box office. Offshore, it continued to be the lead film for three weekends straight, and reclaimed that spot this past session with the coursing China debut.
Despite a critical drubbing, reviews have proved to be anything but toxic to turnstile traffic. As with much of the play around the world, the Middle Kingdom start this weekend was fueled by audiences who have embraced the tone and the character. In China, where studios recoup 25% of the gross, Venom partner Tencent helped spread the positive word of mouth.
The China gross is now $134.8M through today, followed by Russia ($32.3M), Korea ($30.1M), the UK ($26.1M), Mexico ($24.1M) and France ($19.1M) — outside China, those are numbers through Monday.
Sony’s offshore success this year has also been fed by Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation ($358.4M), Peter Rabbit ($236M), The Equalizer 2 ($88.4M) and holdover play from Christmas juggernaut Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle ($398.6M in 2018).
When parent Sony Corp reported Q2 earnings at the end of October, it boosted the Pictures segment’s outlook for the full year ending March 31 by 6%, expecting the division to reach $443.6M (50B yen). This was after the first quarter saw a $68M loss, but as the July-September period notched a $209M profit, thanks in part to the robust global box office of HT3. Venom will factor in the next quarter’s report.
Back in 2012, among Sony’s big pics to help push it past $2B offshore in October were The Amazing Spider-Man, MIB 3 and the first Hotel Transylvania. Ahead this year, Sony still has the animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse which releases in mid-December, and Holmes And Watson in the holiday corridor.