On its way to thrashing past $600M global this weekend, Sony’s Venom bared its fangs in China today and picked up an estimated $34.7M, including Thursday midnights. The Tom Hardy-starrer’s start portends a three-day bow in the $100M+ neighborhood. That would make it only the second superhero movie ever to hit the century mark on its Middle Kingdom opening weekend, behind Avengers: Infinity War (Avengers: Age Of Ultron also topped $100M in its debut, but had six days to do so back in 2015, and its FSS was $86M after a $34.7M Tuesday bow).
Thursday sneaks came in at $2.37M to give Venom the No. 4 slot on the list of all-time superhero midnights. Infinity War ($9.31M), Age Of Ultron ($4.76M) and Captain America: Civil War ($2.61M) are the Top 3.
The film, which has a sizable investment from Chinese internet behemoth Tencent — bringing in extra marketing muscle — has been strong on social with great word of mouth. It’s got a 9.4 on ticketing platform Maoyan and a 7.4 on Douban. Pre-sales were a terrific $15.5M.
Hitting $100M for the FSS frame would land Venom in the Top 15 China openers ever, besting Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man And The Wasp. China will immediately become the top-grossing offshore market for Ruben Fleischer’s take on this Marvel property.
Through Thursday, the international box office on Venom is $352.9M with worldwide at $554.28M (not including numbers out of China). The top overseas hubs through Thursday are Russia ($32M), Korea ($30.1M), the UK ($25.8M), Mexico ($23.9M) and Brazil ($18.6M).
China is the last market to open — Japan got off to a great start last frame. The weeks ahead, however, will see an influx of Hollywood titles including Fastastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Crazy Rich Asians and Aquaman.
The movie has defied a critical bashing as audiences have licked it up, enjoying the tone and the character. Venom set a domestic and global October opening record in its early play, and on its second weekend, pushed Sony across $1B at the North American box office. Offshore, it continued to be the lead film for three weekends straight and will handily claim that spot once again this session.
It’s currently the No. 10 movie of the year worldwide and should leapfrog into 7th position on Sunday, passing Ant-Man And The Wasp.