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Talk about a bountiful October harvest.
Director Ruben Fleischer’s Venom is headed for a potent $65 million-plus debut at the North American box office, while Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s high-profile A Star Is Born looks to sing its way between $28 million and $30 million, according to those with access to early prerelease surveys.
The two films open in North America on Oct. 5. Tracking could easily climb higher as both movies make their final marketing pushes.
Venom is poised to eclipse the $55.8 million debut of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity (2013) to land the best October opening of all time, not adjusted for inflation. Other top October openings domestically include The Martian ($54.3 million) and Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6), respectively.
Sony insiders are being more cautious in suggesting a $55 million to $60 million domestic launch for Venom. Warner Bros. is likewise being more conservative in projecting a $25 million debut for A Star Is Born.
Venom — which kicks off the expansion of Sony’s universe of Marvel characters beyond Spider-Man — stars Hardy as the titular antihero, alongside Woody Harrelson, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate and Scott Haze. Hardy also plays Eddie Brock, the human host taken over by Venom, an alien Symbiote who can merge himself with others.
The superhero pic cost a net $100 million to produce and was financed in part by China’s Tencent.
While Venom will go after fanboys, Warner Bros. is positioning A Star Is Born as the choice for adults.
Marking Cooper’s feature directorial debut, the critically acclaimed music-infused romantic drama debuted at the Venice International Film Festival to enthusiastic reviews before a stop at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it garnered early Oscar buzz.
A Star Is Born — about a hard-living country music star who falls in love with a young woman on the cusp of fame — is the third remake of the original 1937 film of the same name, which was adapted into a 1954 musical and then a 1976 film starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
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