Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, movie theaters have been suffering. Many film studios — including Walt Disney Studios and their subsidiaries like Marvel Studios and Star Wars/Lucasfilm — have moved to new release strategies, including simultaneous theatrical and streaming debuts and straight-to-streaming premieres.
Disney, along with other studios like Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount Pictures, have cut their theatrical release window to 45 days instead of the traditional 90 — Disney most recently did this with Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September — but one movie studio, Sony Pictures, is sticking with the conventional three-month theatrical run.
And, as it turns out, it could pay off. To date, Disney’s MCU has dominated the box office in 2021. Black Widow (July 9, 2021) was released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access, earning $80.4 million on its opening weekend. Then, Shang-Chi was close behind, earning $75.4 when it debuted in theaters on Labor Day weekend.
Now, Sony’s Spider-Man universe is proving that fans want more Marvel however they can get it. Venom 2, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, shocked everyone earning $90.1 million at the domestic box office and over $100 million globally during its opening weekend.
As one article noted:
Venom 2’s record-setting $90.1 million domestic bow beat out the most bullish box-office predictions and was no doubt helped along by the fact that it bypassed streaming and VOD venues and opened exclusively in theaters, where it blew past Black Widow’s $80.4 million launch and Shang-Chi’s $75.4 million initial salvo.
Rolling out in 4,225 theaters, Venom 2 scored a staggering $21,325 per-screen average over the weekend and added another $13.8 million from overseas (it has not yet opened in most international markets yet, including China, where the first Venom grabbed $269 million), bringing its first-week global box-office total to $103.9 million.
Currently, there are no confirmed plans to bring Tom Hardy’s Venom to Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the actor recently shared that he “would do anything” to make the crossover happen.
More on Venom: Let There Be Carnage
The official description of Venom: Let There Be Carnage reads:
Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom, one of MARVEL’s greatest and most complex characters. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage.
More on Black Widow
The official description of the movie reads:
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down [Taskmaster and Dreykov (Ray Winstone)], Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz is Melina. “Black Widow” — the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — is directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige.
More on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
The official description of Shang-Chi reads:
Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng.
What do you think about Marvel movies dominating the box office this year?