‘Venom’ Holds On To the Top Spot

The North America box office experienced a bit of déjà vu this weekend Sony’s Venom and Warner’s A Star Is Born remained the two most popular choices for moviegoers. Their lock on the top spots spelled trouble for newcomers Last Man, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween and Bad Times at the El Royale, all which underperformed in their debuts.

Eddie and Gaga will have to make way for the return of Michael Myers starting on Thursday night when Universal’s highly anticipated Halloween sequel arrives. The acclaimed thriller is expected to earn over $50 million in its first three days of release.

Following its record-setting debut, Venom was expected to drop more than 60-70% in its second session. However, the Tom Hardy flick showed it had plenty of bite and decreased a more moderate 56%. That resulted in an estimated $35.7 million from 4,250 theaters, which brought its ten-day total up to $143 million. Venom should be able to fight its way to roughly $200-215 million by the end of its domestic run. Overseas, the Marvel antihero epic has already zipped past that, clearing $235 million after only two weeks.

It was also another stellar session for A Star Is Born, which delivered $28 million from 3,708 venues. Down only 35%, the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga drama has earned $94.2 million so far. The $100 million mark may be cleared by Tuesday. The future awards contender should continue to benefit from strong word-of-mouth throughout the rest of the fall season and possibly beyond, which could help the $36 million production finish somewhere around the $175 million mark. Internationally, A Star Is Born added $20 million from 65 markets this weekend to bring its early foreign total up to $41 million.

Blasting off to underwhelming numbers in third place was Universal’s acclaimed Neil Armstrong biopic First Man with an estimated $16.5 million from 3,670 theaters. Directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) and starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy, First Man clicked more with critics than it did with the public. The $59 million production scored an 88% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, an 84/100 on Metacritic and a “B+” on CinemaScore. First Man blasted off with $8.6 million from foreign markets this weekend.

Landing quietly in fourth place was Sony’s Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween with $16.2 million. The opening was roughly 30% lower than the $23 million the 2015 original scored in its start. On the review front, Goosebumps 2 scored a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 54/100 on Metacritic and a “B” on CinemaScore.

Rounding out the top five was Warner’s family comedy Smallfoot with an estimated $9.3 million from 3,606 screens. Down 35%, the new domestic total for Smallfoot is $58 million.

  1.  Night School (Universal) $8 million (-36%); $60 million
  2.  Bad Times at the El Royale (Fox) $7.2 million

Despite an all-star cast that includes Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth, it was a bad time at the box office for Drew Goddard’s Tarantino wannabe crime flick. Critics thought it was okay, but the public gave it a collective pass.

  1.  The House With a Clock In Its Walls (Universal) $4 million (-46%); $62.2 million
  2.  The Hate U Give (Fox) $1.76 million; $2.47 million
  3.  A Simple Favor (Lionsgate) $1.38 million (-60%); $52 million

In addition to Halloween, next weekend sees the wide release of Fox’s The Hate U Give.

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