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Credit: Sony Pictures

Venom may end up outgrossing some or even most of the Spider-Man movies

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Nov 9, 2018, 5:42 PM EST

Despite initial doubts about its potential and a wealth of bad reviews, Venom may end up earning more money than a lot of the movies starring his nemesis Spider-Man.

According to Deadline, Venom just opened today (Nov. 9) in China, where it earned a stunning $34.7 million in its first day on screens. If that multiplies out to $100 million for the weekend in that country, that would make it only the second superhero movie to hit that milestone in China, behind Avengers: Infinity War.

But there's more to the story: without the China numbers, Venom currently sits at a little over $554 million worldwide. When you add in the estimated weekend box office in China, plus whatever the Tom Hardy-starring film pulls in from the rest of the world, that nasty alien symbiote could be at or near the $700 million mark.

As The Playlist notes, that puts Venom hard on the heels of 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which brought the franchise to its knees in 2014 with a disappointing (relative to expectations) worldwide haul of $709 million. Venom should easily surpass that sometime next week, and after that, the next Spidey movie in its sights is 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, which took in $758 million.

Venom can probably make it to that mark as well, meaning that Sony Pictures' latest venture into the Spider-Man universe -- minus the star himself -- will probably outgross the last two Spider-Man movies the studio produced on its own. The most recent standalone Spider-Man movie to actually feature the title hero, Spider-Man: Homecoming, was a co-production with Marvel and piled up $880 million.

Could Venom go the distance and get past Homecoming? That's a much higher hill to climb and probably unlikely. The highest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever, 2007's $891 million-earning Spider-Man 3 (which, it should be noted, also featured the Venom character), is almost certainly safe too.

But if Venom keeps chugging along in China and around the rest of the world, and manages to find a few extra bucks here in North America, 2004's Spider-Man 2 ($784 million) and even 2002's original Spider-Man ($822 million) could get a tongue-lashing from Eddie Brock's darker side as well.

Whatever happens, Venom is poised to become one of Sony's biggest hits ever and one of the most successful Spider-Man-related films that company has produced. A sequel is on the way for sure, and if Sony is feeling strong, the studio might just want to renegotiate its agreement with Marvel over the use of Spider-Man himself. Money talks, even for alien symbiotes.