It looks like Sony's efforts to launch their own Marvel cinematic universe is paying off in spades. Despite mostly negative critical reviews, audiences are showing up for Venom, and they're liking what they see.
Deadline reports that Ruben Fleischer's film made $32.3 million on Friday and is heading towards a $77-$80 million weekend. This would easily give Venom the biggest October opening, beating former record holder Gravity, which debuted to $55.7 million in 2014.
Branding itself as a departure from superhero movies through its focus on anti-hero Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), Venom has also nabbed a solid B+ Cinemascore. Along with an 80% on PostTrack and 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, there's a clear divide between critics (a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences on this one.
Although Venom's Cinemascore is lower than many of this year's other live-action superhero efforts — Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man & the Wasp earned an A+, A, and A- respectively — it is on par with other recent comic book movies including Justice League, Suicide Squad, and Thor. And Venom's audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is higher than each of those films,
UPDATE: Deadline's estimates for an $80 million dollar weekend have held out and Venom is on its way to a global debut of $205.2 globally, which surpasses the global debut of all of the Spider-Man films. At an estimated $125.2 internationally, Venom is far surpassing original estimates.
While we'll have to wait until Monday before the final numbers come in, it looks like Venom has guaranteed himself a spot in Sony's future plans.
Have you seen Venom yet? Let us know in the comments what you thought!