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Venom is a fairly unusual movie for a lot of reasons. While giving another popular comic book character his own big screen film is the most normal thing in the world, Venom is a character who is tied to the Spider-Man universe, but the new movie won't make any reference to that at all. As such, nobody knows quite what to expect from the movie, which means that box office success might be less of a sure thing. Having said that, early indications are that Venom is going to be ok, as it's currently tracking for an opening weekend between $55 and $85 million.
While earlier tracking put Venom at something between $30-$50 million at opening, Box Office Pro now says that numbers have jumped up significantly. If these numbers hold then Venom is likely to see the biggest opening weekend in the history of the month of October. Gravity opened with just over $55 million and with that being the low-end expectation here, it looks like Venom could blow the month out of the water.
Of course, with Venom over a month away these numbers are very early and they are almost certain to change as we get closer to release, and they could just as easily adjust back down as they could get even higher. Still, the fact that they've taken such a significant move up is an indication that the potential audience, who maybe wasn't so sure about Venom to start with, is now more comfortable that it will be the movie they're looking for. It seems the second trailer was successful in swaying these fans in a way the first trailer was not.
Of course, it's difficult to get a clear gauge of how Venom will do, in part because the movie is entering somewhat uncharted territory. We generally don't see comic book superhero movies open in October so we don't have a lot to compare it to. On the one hand, this means that Venom won't have significant competition from other blockbusters. On the other hand, one wonders if the audience will rush out in October to see the sort of movie they're used to catching in the summer. In general, there really doesn't seem to be a bad time to release tentpole movies anymore, so it's likely Venom will do just fine.
The other benefit Venom will have is simply the fact that it's the next big movie of its kind to be released. No movie opening between next weekend and the first weekend in October is tracking to do more than $100 million domestically until Venom opens alongside the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga drama A Star is Born. While Venom is expected to have the bigger opening weekend, A Star is Born is actually tracking to have a slightly bigger domestic total.