How 'Venom' scored one of the biggest superhero-movie openings ever in China

Sony
  • “Venom” scored the third-biggest opening for a superhero movie ever in China, only behind “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
  • It continues “Venom’s” impressive box-office run, which could top $US700 million globally.
  • Exhibitor Relations senior box-office analyst Jeff Bock told Business Insider that China responds well to monster movies, and that “Venom” had an “advantageous” release date.

“Venom” continued its shocking box-office dominance over the weekend in China, where it opened to a huge $US102 million. That’s the third-biggest opening ever for a superhero movie there after “Avengers: Infinity War,” which opened to $US191 million, and “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” according to Box Office Mojo.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was IMAX’s biggest opening in the region, as well, with $US10 million of the movie’s China box office coming from IMAX screens.

This puts “Venom’s” total worldwide gross at $US673 million, which means it could top $US700 million globally now that Chinese audiences are responding well to the movie. The movie’s production budget was $US100 million, and its earnings are even more impressive considering the film’s lacklustre 29% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.

“It seems that the disconnect between critics and audiences has taken on an international flair with audiences around the world and most recently China giving ‘Venom’ a resounding thumbs up in the face of mixed reviews at best for the film,” Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Business Insider.

It’s good news for Sony after its “Girl in the Spider’s Web” bombed at the US box office this weekend. “Venom” has exceeded all expectations and has rejuvenated Sony’s “Spider-Man” plans after they looked dead just a few years ago. Now, a “Venom” sequel is more than likely, and Sony can go all in on its other planned spin-offs.


Read more:
‘Venom’ gives Sony an edge over Disney in its fight to keep Spider-Man, according to industry experts

Exhibitor Relations senior box-office analyst Jeff Bock told Business Insider that the success of “Venom” in China comes down to the country’s interest in monster movies.

“Monster movies are bonafide box office gold in China, and ‘Venom’ is about as monstrous as it gets in the superhero universe,” Bock said.

This year’s hit giant-shark movie, “The Meg,” grossed $US527 million worldwide, helped largely by the $US153 million it made in China. John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place,” about a family hiding from alien creatures that hunt by sound, received a rare extension on its release in China this year and scored $US34 million there. And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s giant-monster movie, “Rampage,” made $US156 million in China after a sluggish start in the US.

Bock also attributes an “advantageous” release date to “Venom’s” success in China. According to THR, a Japanese animated film, “Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer,” opened second with just $US10.6 million, and in third, a Chinese romance, “Last Letter,” opened with $US5.4 million.

Dergarabedian views international audiences as responding to the same things that moviegoers in the US are “as it continues to confound analysts.”

“The film’s unique style, Marvel branding, and, above all, Tom Hardy as the anti-hero at the heart of the story [are] proving to be an irresistible combination,” he said.

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