by 👨💻 Graham Pierrepoint
If there’s any comic book movie in recent years which has divided opinion – albeit with more critics leaning towards the negative – it’s Venom. The movie, which stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a roving reporter who’s taken over by a sinister ‘symbiote’ from another world (the ‘Venom’ in the title), arrived to languid critical fanfare in October, but appears to be doing very well indeed at the international box office. This is largely thanks to the lucrative Chinese market, who has already thrown in a colossal $207 million at least into Venom’s total takings, according to CBR.com.
The movie, which we awarded 4 out of 5 stars in our review last month, has already outperformed many comic book movies which were otherwise seen as more successful, at least critically. Projected box office takings appear to suggest that Venom will top $800 million globally, which stretches ahead of the phenomenally successful Deadpool, which barnstormed to an unexpected $700 million+ at the global box office despite being an R-rated picture. Venom didn’t come with such a tag, and arrived with even less fanfare – and perhaps more of a divided feeling beforehand. To see the movie set to topple Deadpool – and thus every other X-Men movie released under Fox – is unexpected to say the very least.
'Venom' Scores Big Win In China [video]
It’s even though to be on course to overthrow Sony’s original Spider-Man movie, starring Tobey Maguire, from 2002 – and it’s quickly making its mark as one of the most profitable non-Marvel Studios comic book films ever released. The Venom name and character remains property of Sony at this time, which means neither Hardy nor any of the characters featured in the film will be making appearances in their current form in Marvel’s ongoing Cinematic Universe. Will the immense success of the movie mean that Sony continues to expand its own line of heroes, or will it result in some sort of deal being made with Disney? With the latter having experienced their most successful year at the movies to date, it’s unlikely they’re particularly desperate to take on Eddie Brock and his symbiote – but it’s interesting to see that the biggest rival emerging for Marvel on the big screen is – well – Marvel itself!
Comic book movies are still very big money at the box office, though they have varied wildly in terms of critical reception. DC are hoping to get back into critical favor soon enough with Aquaman, and with Shazam in early 2019.
Aquaman with Jason Momoa - Official Final Trailer [video]