Weekend box office: Venom has a huge opening and A Star Is Born does well

Critical reactions to movies can make it hard to predict a film’s success.  On one hand, VENOM got destroyed by just about every critic that saw it, but the infamous comic book character apparently had a strong enough fan base to carry the film to almost $80 million at the weekend box office.  I think there’s a good argument either way that critical opinions don’t matter to the mass audiences or that maybe the film could’ve done even better if critics hadn’t dumped on it.  Then there’s A STAR IS BORN and even though we weren’t a fan (click the link to read our review), a lot of critics loved it and buzz around the film has been extremely positive for some time now, leading to a $45 million opening.  That wasn’t good enough for first place, but it was quite a showing at the box office and should help the film’s Oscar chances (at least in terms of nominations).

Prior to the over-performance of VENOM, I would have said next week would belong to FIRST MAN.  But now I’m not so sure because FIRST MAN and A STAR IS BORN are going to compete for the same type of audience, so VENOM might be good enough to take the top spot again.  There are a few other contenders as well, including GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN and the Oscar-chasing BEAUTIFUL BOY.  GOOSEBUMPS 2 is a little unpredictable since the first was a surprise success, but the sequel appears to have deviated from the original quite a bit.  I think it will come down to FIRST MAN and VENOM, with VENOM probably taking a slight edge.  Note: the numbers below will be updated as they become final.

1. Venom $78.9m

2. A Star Is Born $44m

3. Smallfoot $15m

4. Night School $13m

5. The House With a Clock In Its Walls $7.1m

6. A Simple Favor $3.5m

7. The Nun $2.7m

8. Hell Fest $2.4m

9. Crazy Rich Asians $2.1m

10. The Predator $1m

(Deadline)

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