Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff is struggling to impress critics with just a 28% score on the reviews aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. But in another metric, Venom is exceeding expectations—the anti-hero adventure earned $10 million on Thursday to set a box office record.
Venom‘s haul, drawn from roughly 3,500 theaters across North America, is the top October number for preview screenings in box office history. It was followed by the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper musical drama A Star Is Born, which brought in $4.6 million between showings from Tuesday to Thursday.
Venom stars Tom Hardy, along with Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed. It will expand to more than 4,200 theaters on Friday with a projected $55 million to 70 million in earnings over the weekend. It very well could break the October opening record of $55.8 million, set by Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity in 2013.
Warner Bros.’ A Star Is Born is expected to earn $28 million to $30 million from roughly 3,600 theaters, though earnings could increase given favorable reviews and Oscar buzz surrounding Cooper’s directorial debut. Together, with Venom, the films could drive a historic month of October for Hollywood.
“The biggest overall weekend in October box office history is potentially in the cards as a perfectly programmed opening lineup boasting Sony’s much-anticipated Marvel entry Venom and Warner Bros.’ awards season favorite and possible Oscar contender A Star Is Born will harmonize a boffo box office tune that could ignite the spark for what could become the best performing month of October of all-time,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at comScore, said, according to Variety.