Venom shrugged off bad reviews to shatter the October box-office record with an $80 million debut, while A Star Is Born soared to $41.3 million at North American theatres.
Venom came in a critically panned, much-doubted foray by Sony Pictures to kick-start a Marvel expansion away from Spider-Man. Warner Bros.’ A Star Is Born remake rode a wave of hype, Oscar buzz and acclaim for Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut and Lady Gaga’s first leading performance.
One was a very iffy proposition; the other a sure thing. Both worked big time.
Yet audiences flocked to Venom in record numbers, with the film grossing $125.2 million overseas taking its total to $205.2 million globally. A Star Is Born, meanwhile, earned $14 million overseas.
Venom, starring Tom Hardy as the antihero who first appeared in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, is the official launch of Sony’s Marvel Universe. Hardy plays a journalist who becomes the host for an alien symbiote that gives him superpowers.
A Star is Born, the third remake of the 1937 film of the same name, sees Cooper play a musician who discovers and falls in love with a young singer played by pop superstar Lady Gaga.
Third place at the North American box office went to Warner Bros.’s Smallfoot, with earnings of $14.9 million in its second weekend. The comic family animation tells the story of a group of Yeti who come across a human, with voicing by Channing Tatum, LeBron James and Danny DeVito.
Coming in fourth was last weekend’s champion, Universal’s Night School, whose earnings dropped nearly $16 million to $12.3 million this weekend. The raucous comedy stars Kevin Hart as one student in a class of misfits working toward high school diplomas under the firm tutelage of Tiffany Haddish.
Fifth place went to Universal’s family-friendly offering The House With a Clock in Its Walls, which slipped from third place last weekend with takings of $7.3 million.