Against that backdrop, everything was riding on this month’s “Venom,” and it could have been dire, given the critical drubbing that director Ruben Fleischer’s film was taking.
When “Venom” exceeded opening-weekend projections earlier this month, the box office was a boon — but the film wasn’t quite out of the woods commercially. “Venom” needed to avoid a steep drop like that of another critically slammed superhero movie, 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which plummeted nearly 70 percent in its second domestic weekend.
Over the weekend, the resilient “Venom” avoided such a fate.
Domestically, “Venom” — starring Tom Hardy as both a down-on-his-luck journalist and the reporter’s alien symbiote — dropped 55 percent, grossing $35.7 million to win the weekend and top “A Star Is Born” ($28 million) for a second week.
“Venom” also won the weekend overseas, grossing $69.7 million across more than 50 foreign markets, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
That brings the movie’s total gross to $378.1 million after just 10 days, on a reported $100 million budget.
At that level, “Venom” has not only proved immune to the bite of critics. It also positions Sony to confidently greenlight a variety of movies based on Marvel comic-book characters (the studio reportedly has access to about 900 of them).
Last year, Sony’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” created in collaboration with Disney/Marvel, grossed $880.2 million worldwide.
So far, “Venom” is tracking more along the trajectory of Fox’s X-Men movie “Logan,” which last year grossed $152.9 million domestically after a second-weekend drop of 57 percent. “Logan” ultimately grossed $226.3 million domestically for a total of $619 million worldwide.
Disney is in the process of acquiring Fox, including its X-Men universe.