The appetite for superhero movies is very real among today's average theater-goer, and one need not look for further proof beyond this weekend's box office performance by Ruben Fleischer's Venom. The blockbuster arrived in theaters on a big wave of bad buzz, but it was able to slice right through it for a record-breaking total. Check out the full Top 10 below and join me after for analysis.
1. Venom* $80,030,000 Total: $80,030,000
2. A Star is Born* $41,250,000 Total: $41,250,000
3. Smallfoot $14,900,000 Total: $42,760,945
4. Night School $12,275,000 Total: $46,750,355
5. The House With A Clock In Its Walls $7,295,000 Total: $55,050,560
6. A Simple Favor $3,435,000 Total: $49,014,356
7. The Nun $2,610,000 Total: $113,367,310
8. Hell Fest $2,075,000 Total: $8,864,476
9. Crazy Rich Asians $2,060,000 Total: $169,134,942
10. The Predator $900,000 Total: $49,985,889
October has never been a month known for blockbuster releases, but Venom has proven that the right content can definitely sell tickets. Previously it was Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity that held the opening weekend record for the 31 day stretch, making $55.8 million in its first three days back in 2013, but the new release from Sony has clearly shattered that ceiling. And when you add in the $125.2 million that it has already made overseas, the comic book feature has already made more than double its reported $100 million budget.
This, however, is definitely a film where there are some major questions about the length and strength of its upcoming box office run. There is clearly no denying that there were a lot of people out there excited to see Venom, but it's common to see major second week drops in similar circumstances – which is to say with movies that aren't carrying a crazy amount of positive critical buzz. A good recent example is Corin Hardy's The Nun, which had the second best September opening of all time last month, but also dropped a stunning 66 percent in its second week. Those who were super excited to see Venom probably all saw it between Thursday and now, and as a result there's a good likelihood that its performance from October 12-14 won't be nearly as impressive.
Even beyond, Venom, though, this was also a fantastic weekend for Hollywood thanks to the release of Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born. While it didn't exactly have the biggest October opening of all time, it can actually proudly say that it had the 10th biggest October opening of all time. Unlike Venom, the musical drama has been riding high on positivity ever since it made its Toronto International Film Festival debut last month – with both Cooper and star Lady Gaga earning rave reviews – and people bought a lot of tickets to see their work. There's been a lot of talk about this one being in the race for this year's Best Picture award at the Academy Awards, so expect to hear a lot more about it in the coming weeks and months – including in this feature.
This week readers should also take note of the impressive continuing performance of Jon Chu's Crazy Rich Asians, which has been hanging around on the chart since mid-August. Sure, it's now fallen to ninth place, and this weekend's new releases should bump it out of the Top 10, but a hat tip is deserved. It spent three of its eight weeks of release so far as box office king, and has grossed nearly $226 million globally on just a $30 million budget (after also having received a great response from both critics and audiences). It's unquestionably one of 2018's biggest success stories, which is saying a lot when you consider how big the year has been so far.
Next weekend's crop of new titles offers up content for all audiences out there, with the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, the kid-centric horror Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, and the star-studded thriller Bad Times At The El Royale all hitting theaters in wide release. They should do a nice job shaking things up, so be sure to come back next week to see the refreshed Top 10.