Venom became a monster hit in China by selling the Symbiote as a dream boyfriend

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Nov 13, 2018, 9:16 AM EST

We’ve already made our own case for why Venom just might be the ideal heartthrob, but now it looks like Sony’s wacky marketing campaign in China, which features cutesy posters selling the alien symbiote as the perfect boyfriend, is paying off big.

Sure, the way movies are marketed in different countries is as varied as diverse cultures they’re trying to transcend, but Venom’s winking play at innocent romance in China is a far cry from the spacy, sinister, and oily-tongued promotion the movie got here on our shores. 

Check out these Chinese posters, where your friendly neighborhood symbiote transforms into an adorably-illustrated love interest:

He’s your selfie pal at the amusement park, he’s considerate with the umbrella in the urban jungle, he’s got the arms — and the politeness — to tote home all the spoils from your shopping spree, and he’s…well, we’re not sure exactly what he’s doing on the subway with the book, but it looks sweet enough to earn him an introduction to your family.

Whatever he’s doing, it must be working. Venom gave Sony its biggest movie opening ever in China over the weekend, reports Deadline, raking in $111 million in its debut. It’s also reportedly the second-biggest superhero premiere ever in China (behind Avengers: Infinity War), and the country’s fifth highest-opening ever for an imported movie.

Hey, there’s at least some basis for Sony’s invitation to think of Venom as the ideal soul mate. The comics are filled with tropes typically associated with a relationship dynamic — chiefly his aggressive protectionist instinct for Eddie Brock, which plays against a can’t-live with him, can’t-live-without-him antagonism that the movie mines for laughs. 

And for all its critical swipes, Venom has struck some kind of chord with audiences both American and international. Its massive Chinese opening has lifted it to a reported $675 million global box office, including a $206.2 million take here in the U.S. If you haven’t seen it, it’s still in wide release, so there’s still time — just don’t be surprised if your movie date night ends up making you the third wheel, once your significant other’s gotten an eyeful of a certain slimy alien dreamboat.