'Venom' on Track to Be More Profitable Than Spider-Man Movies

Venom always faced an uphill battle, given that it was a Spider-Man spinoff film that wouldn't feature Spider-Man with zero ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The critical response to the film was harsh, but the audience reaction was quite the opposite, as Venom has generated an impressive audience score, and some big box office profits. According to a new report, Venom is actually on track to be the most profitable Spider-Man movie that Sony has ever released!

In an extensive breakdown by Forbes, the site notes that Venom's current gross of $508M worldwide, and projected overall gross of $630M-700M, will in fact make it the most profitable Spider-Man film of all time, if not the top-grossing.

Here's how the numbers shake out, according to Forbes:

"Venom has earned 5.08x its production budget. That makes it, in terms of production budget versus global theatrical grosses, more profitable than any Spider-Man movie since the first Spider-Man movie ($822m on a $139m = 5.91x) back in 2002. Spider-Man 2 earned $784m on a $220m budget in 2004 (3.56x) and Spider-Man 3 (which featured Venom as one of the villains) earned $891m on a $260m budget in 2007 (3.42x). Amazing Spider-Man grossed $758m worldwide on a $230m budget in 2012 (3.29x) while Amazing Spider-Man 2 earned $709m on a $255m budget in 2014 (2.78x). Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, earned $880m worldwide on a $175m budget last year (5.03x)."

The real key here is that multiplier number, with Venom benefiting from having a lower production budget ($100M) than the Spider-Man movies, which have averaged around $200M ever since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2. So far Venom is killing it overseas, and there are still some major international markets that film has yet to open in; it premieres in Japan on November 2nd, and China on November 9th. If Venom is as much of a hit as the recent Spider-Man movies have been in China, and can actually reverse the trend of diminishing returns in Japan, then the profitability margin will only increase.

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As it stands, the returns on Venom are already enough incentive for Sony to continue the franchise and move ahead with Venom 2. If the studio can take some key notes about what worked with the first film and what didn't, then Venom 2 can be a similarly profitable venture. After all, Tom Hardy's one-man performance of two characters sharing a body is what really carried the film, and with a sequel set to also feature Woody Harrelson as symbiote serial killer Carnage, we could essentially see a symbiote-soaked version of Heat, with two great performers talking to themselves while cat-and-mouse hunting one another. In short: it's a rare sequel that could generate massive hype without an equally massive inflation of the budget.

Venom is currently playing in theaters. The next Spider-Man movie will be the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on December 14th. It will be followed by the live-action Spider-Man: Far From Home, hitting theaters on July 5th.