‘VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE’ Dethrones ‘SHANG-CHI’ With Record-Breaking Opening

“Shang-Chi” enjoyed a month-long residence at the top of the box office since its debut in September, but “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was the one to dethrone it in a record-breaking opening. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” debuted to $90 million domestically (including a $37,250,000 opening Friday), which is a record for the pandemic era, and $10 million more than its predecessors’ debut. Despite negative critic reviews — 30% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes — “Venom” (2018) ended up making over $850 million during its run. Say what you want, but the audience score of 81% shows that audiences loved what they say. While “Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s” critic reviews are not necessarily glowing—59%—that is still almost double of what its predecessor holds. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a crowd-pleasing movie that knows exactly what it is, whereas the first movie struggled with juggling genres, the sequel took what works and amped it up to 11. The talk about the mid-credits scene also likely played a part in people going in droves to catch “Venom’s” latest adventure.

“The Addams Family” franchise just can’t escape superhero flicks, as “The Addams Family 2” finished in second with an $18 million debut. Its predecessor in 2019 opened to $30.3 million, only behind “Joker” — which was in its second weekend at that point.

“The Many Saints of Newark” — a Tony Soprano prequel film starring the late James Gandolfini’s son, Michael — came in fourth place during its theatre and HBO Max simultaneous release. Its $5 million domestic gross (on top of another $2.3 million internationally) could be seen as disappointing, especially considering it is based on an existing IP as big as “The Sopranos,” but either interest wasn’t there, or viewers elected to catch it from the comfort of their own home. While the critics have been generally favorable, with a 74% critics score, the audience score is only at 58%. Additionally, CinemaScore gave the film a grade of C+.

Michael Gandolfini and Alessandro Nivola in “The Many Saints of Newark,” courtesy of Warner Bros.

Palme d’Or winner from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, “TItane,” opened in 562 theatres domestic, taking in $515,757. It also played at the New York Film Festival last weekend. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, a documentary about Worship music, “The Jesus Music,” grossed more than “Titane” in less than half of the number of theatres.

Agathe Rousselle in “Titane,” courtesy of Neon.

While moviegoers in America have to wait another week, “No Time To Die” has been crushing it in international territories, grossing $119 in its debut. “Dune” also crossed the $100 mark, now sitting at $100.3 million in 15 markets. Perhaps seeing how movies are performing while being exclusive to theatres will make Warner Bros. think twice about releasing “Dune” on HBO Max and in theatres. Along with Daniel Craig’s farewell film as James Bond is A24’s Icelandic thriller, “Lamb,” and “South of Heaven,” an indie flick starring Jason Sudeikis, Evangeline Lilly, and Mike Colter.

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