Sony went from being scared to getting greedy.
On the heels of Shang-Chi‘s record-obliterating Labor Day weekend haul of $90 million, Sony Pictures has decided to open its anti-hero comic book sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage earlier than expected. The film — which had originally been set for September 24, 2021 before it was delayed to October 15 — will now open on October 1.
This final shift goes against recent rumors that had Venom 2 being delayed even further, all the way to late January of 2022. Instead, Sony is now suddenly bullish on the Fall of 2021 despite a trending COVID Delta variant surge that, until Labor Day, had put a noticable dent in the late summer box office.
Being a Marvel title, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is obviously hoping to get in on the momentum of Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Despite its darker, more graphic milieu (with a morbidly-comic bent), Venom 2 is still coming in with a PG-13 rating, further bolstering Sony’s hopes for the sequel’s box office potential. The first Venom made $855 million worldwide back in 2018.
Starring Tom Hardy in the title role, returning co-star Michelle Williams, and Woody Harrelson as the bizzaro Venom creature called Carnage, Venom 2 is directed by Andy Serkis (yes, the celebrated mo-cap actor of Gollum fame, Snoke of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, a baddie in Black Panther, et al).