In non-James Bond weekend box office news, Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage grossed another $32.5 million (-64 percent) in weekend two. The Tom Hardy/Woody Harrelson film suffered a hit from No Time to Die, which is expected given that the James Bond film is clearly more competitive than First Man in Venom’s second weekend in October 2018. Despite this, the picture has grossed $143 million in its first ten days in the United States, putting it on par with Black Widow ($131 million by day ten after a $80 million Friday-Sunday opening) and Shang-Chi ($144 million after a $94 million Friday-Monday debut). If I’m being optimistic, I’d say the 95-minute, continuity-light, newbie-friendly superhero comic rom-com will hold its own against the competition.
Consider Spider-Man: Homecoming (1.61x its ten-day total after a 62 percent second-weekend decline) or any of Adam Sandler’s comedy from the mid-2000s. Even legs, like Blumhouse’s extremely frontloaded Halloween ($159 million from a $126 million ten-day cume following a $76 million weekend), propel the $110 million-budgeted Venom 2 to $180 million domestically. It reaches $200 million thanks to legs like Black Widow (1.4x the ten-day total). It has grossed $186 million globally (including a spectacular $10 million start in Mexico) and will be released in most of its international countries this week. We can only guess if it will come close to its predecessor’s $371 million international total ($269 million) without China. No Time to Die’s foreign box office success ($257 million so far) bodes well for Venom 2.
The Battle At Lake Changjin, a Chinese film, has made a comeback in its second weekend. The picture took a big hit on Friday ($25 million) but rebounded for a $110 million second weekend haul, down 45% from its $203 million Fri-Sun (and $236 million Thurs-Sun) opening. That’s a stronger hold than The Wandering Earth (-50 percent after a $179 million Fri-Sun opening) and Detective Chinatown 3 (-89 percent for a $42 million second-weekend after a record $398.5 million start). That’s despite the fact that many people saw the Wu Jing/Jackson Yee film during the week-long National Day vacation period. It has grossed $640 million in 11 days, slightly more than Detective Chinatown 3’s ten-day total of $611 million. If it holds next week, we’ll know if it peaks. Hello, Mom.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, produced by Walt Disney and Marvel, continues to do well in weekend six, grossing $4.2 million (-31%) for a new domestic total of $212.45 million. It’s still looking like a final domestic total of between $220 million and $225 million, which feels like around 85% of what it might have made in non-pandemic circumstances. While it clearly suffered a blow in international markets owing to the crisis, it nevertheless surpassed $400 million worldwide this weekend, making it the first pandemic-era Hollywood film to achieve it without the help of China (all due respect to Godzilla Vs. Kong and F9). Next week’s James Bond film No Time to Die is expected to do the same.
Could the picture have gotten closer to Thor: The Dark World ($644 million) than Thor ($449 million) due to pre-Covid international circumstances and an estimated over/under $125 million from China? Sure, but #ShangChi2Goals can suffice. Heck, if Shang-Chi 2 earns what we’d anticipate from a Marvel smash sequel (think Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) if Shang-Chi had finished with Doctor Strange ($677 million), we’d have a jump (from $400 million to $800 million) worthy of John Wick. That’s obviously fun with arithmetic, but the movie achieved exactly what it needed to do, both in terms of confirming Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi as Marvel’s newest marquee character and demonstrating that a movie published on Netflix can be just as good as a movie released in theatres.
On its second weekend, MGM’s The Addams Family 2 grossed additional $10.019 million (-42 percent). This brings the cartoon sequel’s ten-day total to $31.14 million, barely over the $30 million earned by its predecessor on opening weekend in 2019. In the face of greater demographically targeted competition, the predecessor (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) plummeted 46%, so this is a good hold thus far. We may predict a domestic finish of $55-$60 million if it hangs around. This sequel would never be able to surpass its “people were intrigued the first time” predecessor. A non-Covid domestic gross of $70 million ($60 million x 1.15) sounded about fair. Free Guy, on the other hand, made $1.3 million (-43 percent) during the weekend.
In other international news, despite stiff competition from James Bond, Dune earned an extra $8.8 million in its fourth weekend of release, falling a respectable 41%. Denis Villeneuve’s $165 million sci-fi epic has now grossed $117 million globally, with several major territories (including North America and China on October 22) still to come. The picture still has a long way to go before it can be considered financially viable, but it’s presently charting 12 percent ahead of Tenet, 67% ahead of Black Widow, 67% ahead of Shang-Chi, 91% ahead of Blade Runner 2049, and 106 percent ahead of Godzilla Vs. Kong. The action film starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, and Jason Momoa has grossed $11 million worldwide.