Somehow, Venom has just managed to surpass every single X-Men movie at the box office. That includes Deadpool. Sony hasn't had the best luck with comic book adaptations over the last decade or so, with their last genuinely great hit coming with Spider-Man 2 in 2004. But that has (mostly) changed this year with the release of Venom, which is now one of the most successful comic book movies of the year and gives them a firm leg to stand on when it comes to their future within the genre.

According to a new report, largely thanks to a very strong showing in China, Venom has now grossed $783.86 million worldwide. That puts it just above 2016's Deadpool, currently the highest-grossing movie in the X-Men franchise, which earned $783.1 million during its run in theaters. This is, to say the least, a bit shocking for several reasons. Shocking as it may be, it means we're going to see a lot more of these Spider-Man spin-off movies from Sony in the future, whether critics like it or not.

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This is one of the most prominent examples in history of audiences and critics simply disagreeing on a particular movie. Venom, which comes from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, currently boasts a very poor 29 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the audience rating sits at a far more impressive 86 percent. Those poor reviews simply haven't mattered and haven't hurt the movie one bit at the box office. So much so that Venom is now the sixth-highest-grossing movie of 2018 overall, above Deadpool 2 ($734.2 million) and just below Mission: Impossible - Fallout ($791 million). It's quite possible that Venom will overtake the latest Tom Cruise stunt spectacular to make it into the top five for the year.

Even with positive reviews, it would have been hard for anyone to predict that Venom would do this well. But Tom Hardy is a very lovable star and the character is quite popular in the world of Marvel Comics. Not to mention a very strong supporting cast that includes Riz Ahmed and Michelle Williams. Does this necessarily mean that Sony has cracked some code and will have a long-running franchise like the X-Men series under their belt? Probably not, but it's a good start. It's also unfortunate for anyone who was hoping Marvel Studios was going to find a way to purchase those character rights back from Sony, as they now have several hundred million very good reasons to hold onto the rights.

Most importantly, Venom 2 is all but a guarantee now. Tom Hardy previously revealed that he had locked down a three-picture deal. We can also expect other projects such as Jared Leto's Morbius the Living Vampire adaptation, and the Kraven the Hunter movie to move forward as well. Much like the Transformers franchise for years now, what critics have said just doesn't seem to matter. People all around the world are on board for what thrills Venom has to offer. Entgroup.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott