'Venom,' 'A Star is Born' lead to highest October weekend of all time

ScreenerBlog

A lukewarm (to put it politely) reception from critics didn’t keep audiences away from Sony’s Venom, which debuted to a much-higher than expected $80 million on 4,250 screens. That blows the previous record for an October debut—held by Gravity, which opened to $55.7 million in 2013—out of the water. The good news extended to the international sphere, where Venom earned $125.2 million in 58 markets, bringing its worldwide cume to a record-breaking $205 million.

Successful on a smaller scale was Oscar contender A Star is Born, which bowed to a quite respectable $41.2 million on 3,686 screens. Positive reviews, an A CinemaScore and awards buzz should keep this one going strong over the coming weeks, whereas with Venom, a steep second-week drop looks entirely possible.

Overall, the success of A Star is Born and Venom helped make this past weekend the highest-grossing October weekend of all time by more than $25 million.

The rest of the top five went to holdovers: family-friendly animated offering Smallfoot (weekend gross $14.9 million, total gross $42.7 million), dropping a modest 35% in its second weekend; the Universal comedy Night School (weekend gross $12.2 million, total gross $46.7 million), dropping 55%; and The House with a Clock In Its Walls (weekend gross $7.2 million, total gross $55 million), dropping 42%.

Another impressive turn belongs to The Hate U Give ($500,000), given a soft opening on 36 screens. Fox is expected to give this one a gradual roll-out, with an expansion to theatres in the triple-digits slated for next week. The documentary Free Solo profited from an expansion of its own, expanding from four theatres to 41 to the tune of $540,000. Meanwhile, GVN Releasing’s Shine opened to $218,789 on 609 screens, for a less-than-impressive per-theatre average of $359.

Also new to theatres in limited release were Loving Pablo ($16,000 on 15 screens), Studio 54 ($15,000 on a single screen), Chasing the Blues ($8,980 on nine screens) and The Great Buster: A Celebration ($7,234 on two screens).