October 3, 2021
Sony Pictures Entertainment’s sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage didn’t disappoint, generating a projected $90.1 million through three days (Oct. 1-3) at the North American box office. The tally surpasses the $80 million generated by Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow as the previous top-grossing opening weekend box office during the pandemic era.
More impressively, Venom 2, which again headlined Tom Hardy as media journalist Eddie Brock, who has an unusual internal bond with an alien symbiote, topped the original’s opening $80 million box office set during the exhibitors’ halcyon pre-COVID days and before competition from concurrent streaming access.
“We are pleased that patience and theatrical exclusivity have been rewarded with record results,” Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures, said in a statement. “With apologies to Mr. Twain: The death of movies has been greatly exaggerated.”
The other major new releases, MGM’s The Addams Family 2 and Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Many Saints of Newark, experienced divergent results. Addams Family 2 topped estimates, generating $18 million in ticket sales, Many Saints, a theatrical prequel to HBO’s wildly popular “The Sopranos,” underperformed with $5 million in revenue.
The Addams Family 2 was also available at digital retail channels for $19.99.
The Many Saints was also available for free to HBO Max subscribers. Warner’s controversial concurrent release strategy — implemented due to the pandemic — began with aplomb as late 2020 and early 2021 releases (Wonder Woman 1984, Godzilla vs. King Kong, etc.) dominated the box office while also driving Max subscriptions. But as other studios began releasing bigger titles over the summer, Warner’s box office suffered.