Following a breakout by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Sony Pictures immediately jumped on the opportunity to move its upcoming Venom: Let There Be Carnage to the first weekend of October — two weeks earlier than its most recently planned release date.
The sequel has been shuffled around the calendar quite a few times throughout the pandemic, but with tickets now officially on sale, and just three weeks left until its theatrically exclusive domestic release, fans will finally be able to check out the follow-up to 2018’s autumnal anti-hero hit.
Here’s our early peak at factors in play for Let There Be Carnage‘s box office potential in North America.
- The first film was an October record-setter at the time of its release, bowing to $80.3 million on opening weekend (only to be surpassed by Joker‘s $96.2 million one year later) after years (if not decades) of fan demand to see the popular character on the big screen. The return of Tom Hardy in the lead role will again be integral for the commercial appeal of this sequel, while fans are also eager to see Woody Harrelson’s Carnage.
- Throughout the pandemic recovery so far, theatrically exclusive, multi-quadrant films have easily been the most successful box office performers. Shang-Chi recently demonstrated the potential of a comic book adaptation with availability only in cinemas on opening weekend. That film, and even Black Widow — a hybrid release, and the top pandemic debut to date — provide encouragement for the audience base base to show up again here.
- Additionally, films with strong appeal toward male audiences and a balanced demographic spread from teens to adults have been drivers of pandemic and vaccine era theatrical business. That’s right within the Venom franchise’s wheelhouse, especially when considering 71 percent of the first film’s opening weekend audience was under the age of 25.
- As the first tentpole film to open — nearly one month — after Shang-Chi, demand among moviegoers for the next big screen-worthy movie should be potent. Venom is expected to have wide claim over IMAX and other PLF formats upon its release.
- The first film has a solid 81 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, implying there’s plenty of interest in a follow-up film.
- A PG-13 rating will again be friendly to the core young audience, and concerns around the 12-and-under crowd not being eligible for vaccines yet aren’t as critical here given Venom‘s grittier tone and older lean compared traditional superhero movies.
- Despite the audience score, critics were more sour at 30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Staying power for the film also wasn’t as strong as might often be expected for a comic book origin picture. The film drew a decent 2.66x multiplier to earn $213.5 million domestically (and a far more robust $856 million globally), but that’s more akin to the type of legs experienced by a sequel. Even pre-pandemic, diminished returns — at least in the domestic market — were to be expected.
- This sequel will go head-to-head with far more challenging competition than its predecessor as No Time to Die will release just one week later — followed by Halloween Kills (October 15) and Dune (October 22) in the immediate chase weekends. James Bond’s proximity will probably result in a major second weekend decline for Carnage since 007 will presumably swipe away most of its PLF footprint.
- Trailer views and social trends for the sequel haven’t been as strong as they were for the first film three years ago, although some of that could be chalked up to a scattered marketing pattern resulting from pandemic-induced delays. The next three weeks could admittedly change that analysis and prop up forecasts a bit more.
- Where the first film had the aid of Indigenous Peoples’ Day landing on its first Monday (boosting Sunday business since many kids are off school that next day), the sequel will have a more traditional frame. That particular holiday doesn’t land until this film’s 11th day of release, its second Sunday.
- As always, the mercies and realities of the pandemic are top of mind leading up to the day of release. News cycles regarding virus cases, vaccine hesitancy, and everything in between will factor into shifting projections for this film like they have most others.
Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2021 Calendar
(as of 9/10/21)
|Release Date||Title||3-Day (FSS) Opening Forecast Range||Domestic Total Forecast Range||Estimated Location Count||Distributor|
|9/17/2021||Blue Bayou||Focus Features|
|9/17/2021||Copshop||$2,000,000 – $7,000,000||$5,000,000 – $20,000,000||2,500||Open Road Films|
|9/17/2021||Cry Macho||$7,000,000 – $12,000,000||$27,000,000 – $47,000,000||3,300||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|9/17/2021||The Eyes of Tammy Faye||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|9/24/2021||Dear Evan Hansen||$6,000,000 – $15,000,000||$18,000,000 – $40,000,000||Universal Pictures|
|10/1/2021||The Addams Family 2||$12,000,000 – $22,000,000||$40,000,000 – $70,000,000||United Artists Releasing|
|10/1/2021||The Jesus Music||Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company|
|10/1/2021||The Many Saints of Newark||$15,000,000 – $25,000,000||$40,000,000 – $80,000,000||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|10/1/2021||Venom: Let There Be Carnage||$45,000,000 – $65,000,000||$100,000,000 – $140,000,000||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|10/8/2021||No Time to Die||MGM|
|10/15/2021||Halloween Kills||Universal Pictures|
|10/15/2021||The Last Duel||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|10/22/2021||Dune||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|10/22/2021||The French Dispatch||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|10/22/2021||Ron’s Gone Wrong||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|10/29/2021||Antlers||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|10/29/2021||Last Night in Soho||Focus Features|
|10/29/2021||My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission||1,500||Funimation / Toho Co. Ltd.|
|11/5/2021||Eternals||Disney / Marvel Studios|
|11/5/2021||Spencer||NEON / Topic Studios|
|11/19/2021||King Richard||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|11/19/2021||Ghostbusters: Afterlife||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|11/24/2021||Encanto||Walt Disney Pictures|
|11/24/2021||House of Gucci||MGM / United Artists Releasing|
|11/24/2021||Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City||Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures|
|12/3/2021||Nightmare Alley (Limited)||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|12/10/2021||Cyrano||United Artists Releasing|
|12/10/2021||Don’t Look Up||Netflix|
|12/10/2021||Violence of Action||STXfilms|
|12/10/2021||West Side Story (2020)||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/17/2021||Spider-Man: No Way Home||Sony / Columbia / Marvel Studios|
|12/22/2021||A Journal for Jordan (Wide Expansion)||Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures|
|12/22/2021||The King’s Man||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/22/2021||The Matrix Resurrections||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|12/22/2021||Sing 2||Universal Pictures|
|12/25/2021||American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story||Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company|
|12/31/2021||(no releases scheduled)|
For more information on detailed and pinpoint forecasts, contact us for pricing and availability.
As always, the news cycle is constantly evolving as the pandemic dictates. Projections are subject to change amid breaking announcements.