'Venom' Delivers October Opening Weekend Record While 'Star is Born' Shines
by Brad Brevet
October 7, 2018
It was a record weekend at the box office for Sony's release of Venom, which delivered a massive $80 million, topping the previous October opening weekend record by more than $20 million. Additionally, Warner Bros.'s A Star is Born more than carried its own weight with a stellar debut of its own, topping $40 million for its opening weekend and helping this become the largest October weekend of all-time.
With an estimated $80 million, Sony's release of Venom into 4,250 locations not only topped the weekend box office, but it topped the previous October opening weekend record of $55.7 million set by Gravity in 2013 by over $20 million. The debut ranks ahead of the $75.8 million opening for Ant-Man and the Wasp earlier this year and just behind the $84.4 million opening for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Both films went on to gross over $210 million domestically, but before we get that far, one thing everyone will have their eye on is just how well it holds over next weekend.
Critic's reviews for Venom were largely negative while the film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, a score that matches the grades for both Suicide Squad and Justice League and is a notch behind the "A-" for Ant-Man and the Wasp. Of the three, Justice League's 56% second weekend drop is the best of the lot while the three carry an average second weekend drop of ~61%, which, in this case, is probably what should be expected with anything better perceived as something of a positive sign as Venom doesn't have any superhero competition in theaters until the releases of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Aquaman in December.
One interesting note is while Venom's audience was predictably male leaning at 59%, only 36% of the overall audience was 25 years of age or older. Comparatively, 46% of Ant-Man and the Wasp's audience was 25+, 46% of Suicide Squad and 69% of Justice League. In fact, Venom had a younger overall audience than even Spider-Man: Homecoming which played to an audience of which 49% was 25 years of age or older.
Internationally, Venom delivered $125.2 million from 58 markets for a record October global opening over $205 million. South Korea led all markets with an estimated $15.7 million opening, the second largest opening for Sony in the market behind Spider-Man: Homecoming's $19.1 million. Additional notable markets include Russia ($11.7m), the UK where it topped the opening weekend for Johnny English Strikes Again with an estimated $9.3 million; Mexico ($7.1m); Australia ($6.4m); Germany ($5.2m); and Brazil ($5.2m). Upcoming markets include France next weekend, Japan in early November and a release in China that is yet to be dated.
In second place is Warner Bros.'s release of A Star is Born, which delivered a hefty $41.25 million debut from 3,686 locations. Once you add the $1.35 million in grosses from early Tuesday and Wednesday sneak peeks, the film's current domestic cume stands at $42.6 million. The film's opening performance contributes to a massive overall weekend, and serves as the tenth largest October opening weekend of all-time. The film's audience was 66% female and of the overall audience 86% were 25 years of age or older. Where the film goes from here is really anyone's guess, but a lengthy run deep into awards season is certainly in the offing, fueled by strong critical reviews and audience word of mouth — the film received an "A" CinemaScore — to go along with that stellar opening.
Internationally, A Star is Born delivered $14 million from 31 markets including a $5.3 million launch in the UK along with a $2.1 million second place opening in France and a $1.9 million debut in Germany. Several markets have yet to open including South Korea (Oct 9), Italy (Oct 11), Brazil (Oct 11), Mexico (Oct 12), Australia (Oct 18) and Japan (Dec 21).
WB also took third place with their animated feature Smallfoot, which dipped 35% this weekend for an estimated $14.9 million three-day and a domestic cume that is now just shy of $43 million after ten days in release. The film also added $11.7 million internationally this weekend for a global cume that now tops $75 million.
Landing in fourth place is Universal's Night School, which dipped 55% in its second weekend, pulling in an estimated $12.275 million for the three-day, boosting the film's domestic cume to $46.7 million. The film brought in $3.4 million internationally this weekend from 21 markets for an overseas cume that now totals $12 million and a global tally nearing $60 million.
Rounding out the top five is another Universal title in The House with a Clock in Its Walls, which dipped 42% as it enters its third weekend in release with an estimated $7.3 million for a domestic cume that now stands at $55 million.
Just outside the top ten, National Geographic's Free Solo had an impressive expansion, bringing in an estimated $540k from 41 theaters (+37) for a $13,171 per theater average. Right behind it was Fox's limited release of The Hate U Give, which delivered an estimated $500k from just 36 theaters for an impressive $13,889 per theater average. The Hate U Give will expand even further next weekend, expected to land in ~200 locations.
Additional limited releases include GVN's Shine, which opened with $218,789 from 609 locations ($359 PTA); Universal's Loving Pablo which opened with $16,000 from 15 theaters ($1,067 PTA); Zeitgeist's Studio 54 brought in $15,000 from one location; Ammo's Chasing the Blues opened with $8,980 in nine theaters ($998 PTA); and Cohen Media's The Great Buster delivered $7,234 in two locations.
Overall, the weekend's top twelve delivered nearly $168 million, making it the largest October weekend of all-time, topping the first weekend of October 2014 by more than $25 million.
Next weekend Universal will debut First Man into ~3,500 theaters; Sony will release Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween into ~3,400 locations; and Fox is releasing Bad Times at the El Royale in approximately 2,800 theaters.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo.