Venom 2, Sony’s follow-up to the hit 2018 supervillain movie smashed expectations at the box office this weekend. The film, which stars Tom Hardy as the ravenous symbiote, easily scored the best domestic opening with $90.1 million. This exceeds the previous pandemic U.S./Canada debut of Black Widow, which raked in $80.8 million (via Deadline).
The total is the biggest for the pandemic era and second-biggest ever for October, according to Comscore. Venom 2’s success is incredibly good news for cinema owners who are hoping that October can string together multiple hit weekends at the box office. And so far Venom 2, which was screened exclusively in theaters, has done just that.
“For us, Venom: Let There Be Carnage absolutely validates our exclusive theatrical window strategy,” Sony President, Motion Pictures Group Josh Greenstein told Deadline about Venom 2. “If you look at the history of theatrical, the obituaries have been written many times, and they’ve always been wrong. We had confidence in the theatrical experience, confidence in our big valuable IP, and took full advantage and had the patience to weather all of this. That strategy is paying off, which we’re happy about. It’s a nice validation of the theatrical strategy.”
Meanwhile, critics have given Venom 2 a mixed reception. It’s currently ranked as rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, although it has a more favorable audience score. That latter is probably due to the contents of the mid-credits scene which has generated lots of chatter online. [Note: If you haven’t seen the movie yet and have managed to avoid social media, you might want to skip the next section. Spoilers for Venom: Let There Be Carnage‘s post-credits scene are ahead.]
In the credit’s scene for Venom 2, much is revealed. After a pretty deep, revealing conversation between Eddie and Venom the scene changes. Suddenly, the pair aren’t in a scrappy-looking hotel room. Instead, they’re tucked away inside a lavish luxury suite. And it seems like the entire world – or universe – has changed. As Venom tells Eddie that their mind-meld is not responsible for whatever happened, the television switches to a special edition of the Daily Bugle news program. In the report, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is seen in the middle of Manhattan, looking very confused.
Now that Venom has made his Marvel movie debut, his character is poised to be the big baddie in Tom Holland’s fourth Spider-Man offering. While Tom Hardy’s Venom has been more of an anti-hero in his Sony franchise, he will evolve into a more villainous character when he appears alongside the heroic web-slinger. While we wait for Venom and Spider-Man to meet in person, fans can catch Venom 2 currently in theaters.
The sequel film is directed by Andy Serkis from a screenplay by Kelly Marcel, based on a story she wrote with Tom Hardy. Set over a year after the events of Venom (2018), investigative journalist Eddie Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution. Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, and Woody Harrelson also star in Venom 2.
Fans can also catch Tom Holland in his third outing as the famous wall-crawler in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Directed by Jon Watts, the story examines how Peter Parker’s life and reputation are turned upside down following his identity being exposed at the hands of Mysterio. Spider-Man: No Way Home will hit theaters on December 17, 2021.