“Venom” gave Sony Pictures a big boost to close out 2018 with a win.
The movie — part of Sony’s own Marvel universe and based on a classic Spider-Man villain — propelled the studio to a profitable third quarter, Sony said during its earnings report on Friday. The Japan-based Sony Corporation reported 11.6 billion yen ($106.5 million) in profits for Sony Pictures in Q3, more than the 10.5 billion yen of this time last year. It grew 6% in sales to 276.7 billion yen ($2.54 billion).
“Venom” was the sixth highest-grossing movie of 2018 in the world with $855 million. It struck box-office gold despite an abysmal 29% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. A sequel is already in the works with a likely release date in October 2020, and it’s given Sony confidence to grow its Marvel franchise. Jared Leto is already set to portray the Spider-Man vampire villain Morbius in a standalone movie, and Sony has other projects in development.
How did “Venom” pull off such a feat? The movie made $272 million in China for starters.
“Monster movies are bonafide box office gold in China, and ‘Venom’ is about as monstrous as it gets in the superhero universe,” Exhibitor Relations senior box-office analyst Jeff Bock told Business Insider in November.
Furthermore, the combination of star Tom Hardy and audiences’ love for Spider-Man could have given it a boost.
“Despite a critical drubbing, the film has found great favor with audiences who are fully vested in the ‘Spider-Man’ brand as well as their embracing of Tom Hardy,” comScore senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Business Insider in October.
Box-office experts agree that the movie was no fluke, and gives Sony an edge over Disney in a potential fight over Spider-Man. Sony owns the film rights to the character, but struck a deal with Disney’s Marvel Studios in 2015 for Marvel to use Spider-Man in its cinematic universe.
“It seems Disney needs Sony’s ‘Spider-Man’ more than Sony needs Disney … If they consistently make films audiences want to see, Disney will have to buy Sony to get ‘Spider-Man’ back,” Bock said.
The global smartphone market continues its decline as consumers hold onto their devices longer than ever before and new research from the the International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed that 375.4m smartphones were shipped to customers during Q4 2018. These figures are down by 4.9 percent when compared to the same period in 2017 and...