Saturday Report: Sony’s theatrically exclusive play for Venom: Let There Be Carnage is paying off in a massive way this weekend.
The studio reports their Marvel anti-hero sequel scored $37.25 million domestically on opening day Friday, representing the second largest first-day gross of any film in October history behind Joker‘s $47.55 million two years ago and of any film during the pandemic era behind only Black Widow‘s $39.5 million in July.
Carnage‘s Friday take includes the previously reported $11.6 million Thursday previews beginning at 4pm, meaning true Friday rang in $25.65 million (a 2.21x multiple from previews). By comparison, the first Venom opened to $32.5 million on opening day with $10 million from 5pm previews included (a similar 2.25x multiple).
For Carnage to usurp its predecessor’s opening day is a hugely significant undertaking during the pandemic as the first major film to outperform its own franchise counterpart since A Quiet Place Part II opened to $19.4 million in its first day (besting the first Quiet‘s $18.86 million three years prior).
There’s little doubt that strong appeal to audiences under 25 — the most consistent and desiring to return to cinemas right now — is driving the welcome over-performance.
For the weekend, projections are starting to narrow a bit but remain in flux. Sony is conservatively estimating $71.3 million for the three-day frame, but that’s probably a worst case scenario. Our internal projections suggest the film should at least hit the $75 million to $80 million range, and there’s a solid chance of exceeding $80 million.
If Carnage goes over $80,366,312, that would top Black Widow‘s as the best debut of the pandemic era yet (not to mention it would also best Venom‘s weekend, which currently ranks second all-time behind Joker‘s $96.2 million October benchmark).
For reference, the first Venom bowed to an $80.3 million weekend three Octobers ago, but it had a Monday holiday to help out Sunday holding power. Carnage does not.
All in all, Carnage is kicking off this long awaited October slate of tentpoles in a resoundingly positive manner that signals the next phase of box office recovery has begun.
No Time to Die Setting Pandemic Records, Nearing Previous Bond Franchise Benchmarks
That phase is expected to continue in earnest when No Time to Die bows in North America next Friday, October 8. For now, though, the highly anticipated 25th James Bond film, and Daniel Craig’s finale as the iconic character, scored another $27.2 million internationally on Friday and hit $51.4 million in total so far.
Universal and MGM estimate the total overseas haul to reach $112.9 million from 54 markets by the end of Sunday, That would set a pandemic record, and it’ll be doing so without China.
In like-for-like markets, Universal estimates that No Time to Die is in line with Skyfall‘s box office openings, and 21 percent below Spectre‘s excluding previews.
Notable among Bond’s markets, the film added $7.6 million on Friday for a running cume of $14.2 million in the United Kingdom & Ireland. Friday represented the third-highest-ever Friday gross in October as well as for the Bond series. Overall, it’s the 12th highest Friday gross in history for that market. The studio estimates over $30 million by the end of the weekend, which would best Skyfall‘s debut there.
A complete domestic and global report from studios will follow on Sunday here at Boxoffice PRO.