'Venom' Locks Down China Release Date (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment
'Venom'

The Tom Hardy-starring blockbuster is getting a splashy marketing campaign in the world's second-biggest movie market courtesy of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which bought a large stake in the film.

Already riding high at the global box office, Sony's Venom has landed a presumably lucrative release date in the massive Chinese film market.

The comic book blockbuster, starring Tom Hardy as the titular Marvel antihero, will release in China on Nov. 9, courtesy of China Film Group and Chinese Internet giant Tencent.

Through Sunday, the pic has grossed $142.8 million in North America and $235.3 million offshore for a $378.1 million global total. The impressive haul represents a huge win for both Sony film chief Tom Rothman and Tencent.

Tencent took an uncommonly high 25 percent stake in the film. The Chinese Internet firm is rolling out an aggressive digital marketing campaign for Venom, leveraging its vast online ecosystem, which includes China's most popular messaging and social media service WeChat, the Netflix-like Tencent Video platform, movie ticking app Maoyan and much more. 

Venom's release will come after a dry spell for Hollywood tentpole openings in China. The last major U.S. title to lead the local box office was Mission: Impossible — Fallout in early September. Venom will follow Shane Black's reboot The Predator, which opens in China on Oct. 26.