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Last year was perhaps the biggest year yet for superhero movies, with titles from Fox, Disney, Warner Bros. and Sony all dropping and making a huge splash at the box office. Perhaps the most surprising and impressive performance came from Sony. Thanks to the one-two punch of Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the studio had an especially great end of the year at the movies, with revenue up 76%.
For the third-quarter of the fiscal year, which ended on December 31, 2018, Sony Pictures Entertainment reported theatrical revenue of $532 million, according to Media Play News. That’s up 76% from the $302 million in revenue Sony pulled in theatrically during Q3 of 2017. The film unit also increased its operating income from $93 million in Q3 2017 to $102 million last year.
The overall revenue for the October-December quarter at Sony’s film division, which includes motion pictures as well as TV productions, licensing and media networks, jumped over $2.45 billion, up from 2017’s $2.3 billion.
In Q3 of 2017, Blade Runner 2049 and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle drove the revenue for Sony Pictures theatrically, with $163 million and $329 million, respectively. In 2018, Sony had the Web-Slingers to thank for the studio’s increased success.
Venom broke records on the way to an $855 million worldwide box office, helped along the way by a phenomenal performance in China that pushed Sony’s international box office to over $2 billion for the year. Venom didn’t do all the work though, because the acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse racked up $255 million.
Thanks to the Marvel characters, Sony Pictures had a great third-quarter that showed growth over the year before. Beyond that though, it also set Sony up for success moving forward and made it quite clear that the Spider-Man characters should be an integral part of the studio’s box office strategy. After the success of Venom, Sony inked a multi-picture deal with IMAX that will ensure the studio’s major 2019 releases play in the pricier large-screen format.
Venom’s performance also validated Sony’s desire to create a shared cinematic universe around the character. Morbius probably won’t be the next Venom, and the only real guaranteed success is likely Venom 2, but Ruben Fleischer’s film’s incredible box office puts Sony in a much better place than it was after The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
While Venom was the all-star for Sony, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse did its part as well. The film is still continuing to bring in audiences and is now over $340 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, with a March release in Japan, before Sony’s fiscal year is over, still to come. It is also the deserving favorite to collect the Oscar for Best Animated Film at this month’s Oscars and now has a spinoff and sequel in the works.
All in all, Venom and Spider-Man helped Sony to a great end of the year at the movies, but their success could also portend more great years to come.
Check out our 2019 release schedule to see all the biggest movies to come this year (including more Spider-Man!), and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your movie news.