Venom had another strong weekend in China, earning $51 million and dropping just 55% from last weekend’s ridiculous $111m Fri-Sun debut. Yes, a 55% drop is a great hold for a Hollywood flick in China, especially if it’s not a toon. The film has now earned $207m in China alone, making it the third-biggest superhero movie ever in China save for the last two Avengers movies. I
f this continues, we could (emphasis on “could”) see a final total of around $300 million. But even if it nosedives after today, we’re still looking at a $250m cume. Once again, as with Ready Player One earlier this year, a big Hollywood import is doing gangbusters either despite or because it’s distinctly American in its pop culture sensibility and contains little-to-no “pandering.”
The $100 million-budgeted Sony flick earned another $4m in North America to bring its domestic total to $210m. And coupled with its non-China overseas haul, the Tom Hardy/Michelle Williams superhero flick has earned ab obscene $780m worldwide. So, yes, it’s going to top $800m worldwide to become possibly the most profitable big-scale superhero movie at least since 2000 (that will take some research, but I’m pretty sure it qualifies) if not ever save for if Batman ($411m in 1989) cost closer to $35m or $50m.
But either way, Venom has already passed Justice League and will surely end up bigger than any non-sequel superhero flick (just over/under Deadpool, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man) ever save for Black Panther ($1.346 billion) and, if it counts, Spider-Man: Homecoming ($881 million). Your move, Aquaman and/or Captain Marvel!
Not to be outdone, Bohemian Rhapsody continued to do obscene overseas business. The Bryan Singer-directed biopic, with a little help from Dexter Fletcher, earned another $15.7 million (-50%) in North America to bring its domestic cume to $127.9m. That makes it the second-biggest (sans inflation) musical biopic ever behind Straight Outta Compton ($161m in 2015) and the biggest LGBTQIA movie ever (ahead of The Birdcage which earned $124m in 1996) in raw domestic grosses.
At a glance, we’re looking at a domestic total of around $165 million, but that may change if Rami Malek ends up with an Oscar nomination (or a Golden Globe nod). But the real action is happening overseas, where the Queen biopic is scorching it. The $55m-budgeted Freddie Mercury biopic earned another $45.5m overseas this weekend, which was just a 29% drop in respective holdover markets.
That brings the film’s overseas total to $256 million and its global cume to $384.3m. So, yeah, it’s sailing over $400m worldwide and has pretty decent shot at $500m global when all is said and done. As for why this is happening, it’s delivering crowd-pleasing Queen musical sequences and crowd-pleasing biopic tropes in spades. For folks who don’t care about accuracy or how it treats Mercury’s sexual orientation, it’s exactly what they wanted from the movie.
Offhand, I think the folks behind Dexter Fletcher’s Rocket Man (an Elton John biopic due May 31 from Paramount/Viacom Inc.) have to be feeling pretty good right now.