Designed to kickstart a new cinematic universe to rival that of the MCU, Sony's 'Venom' didn't really stand up to critical scrutiny. While some fans are defending it as a fun little fall treat, most are siding with the critics who point out that, while well-intentioned, the film has significant tonal and pacing issues and the story doesn't seem to make much sense.
However, that hasn't stopped audiences from filling theaters apparently, as it just broke the record for best domestic box office for an opening weekend in October. Previous holder 'Gravity' saw $55.7 million by the Monday following its release, but CNN reports that 'Venom' shattered the record with an estimated $80 million.
While certainly impressive, this might not be as momentous a feat as one might think. For one thing, October is one of what the entertainment industry calls "dump months," periods where the domestic box office is usually slow, so studios tend to put out their B-material, usually in the form of cheaply-produced horror films.
Also consider that there isn't much else in the way of action films out right now. The number two movie that debuted this month so far has been Bradley Cooper's remake of the classic Hollywood film 'A Star is Born,' which pulled in $42.6 million and, though receiving far more critical praise, didn't appeal to a wider audience.
Even Sony's domestic distribution chief Adrian Smith admitted the record breaking domestic box office numbers were likely a result of the film's aggressive marketing campaign and not the film's overall quality. Still, in the world of Hollywood where finances beat out artistic integrity every single time, it's enough to greenlight at least a few sequels.