Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits rare pandemic box office milestone

After multiple release date changes, Sony Pictures' Venom: Let There Be Carnage hit theaters on October 1 in the US. Unlike some other companies, Sony Pictures chose against releasing its hit Marvel movie on digital platforms, instead opting to exclusively premiere the film in theaters despite the ongoing pandemic.

Last year was brutal for the movie industry, as many theaters were closed around the world and consumers were largely staying home. This forced a rapid change in how new movies were made available to the public, namely digital rental releases and, eventually, hybrid same-day digital releases to coincide with theatrical premieres.

The decision to release Venom 2 exclusively in theaters has proven successful for Sony. According to Deadline, the sequel to the 2018 Venom movie has exceeded $200 million in the domestic box office, reaching the pandemic milestone only previously achieved by Disney's Shangi-Chi.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage has been in theaters for around seven weeks, achieving high ratings from viewers and marking a solid installment in the theatrical Marvel universe. Digital and disc releases for the movie are expected by the end of the year.

Sony had originally planned to release its new Venom movie in theaters in mid-September, later bumping the date by a week to late September, then again to mid-October. The company eventually settled on early October for the theatrical premiere, seeing ample success over its three-day opening despite ongoing pandemic concerns.

Most theaters in the US have reopened for business now that the COVID-19 vaccines are readily available and many people have been fully vaccinated against the virus. Some destinations still require masks and social distancing, but consumers have made it clear they're largely ready to return to more social activities, including watching movies at the local cinema instead of in their living rooms.