The public wasn't sold on the idea that a Venom standalone film could work without the involvement of Spider-Man, considering how connected the two's narratives are. Despite this, Sony still pushed through with their plan, and while it wasn't a smash hit critically, it made the studio more than $500 million at the global box office - enough to merit a sequel from a financial standpoint. This might be good news for those who liked the movie, but not so much for fans hoping that the Spider-Man rights will be fully returned to Marvel - similar to what's happening with the X-Men and Fantastic Four over at Fox.
Speaking with Business Insider, Exhibitor Relations' senior box-office analyst Jeff Bock breaks down how Venom's financial success invigorates Sony's plans regarding other Spider-Man character rights that they have a creative hold of. According to him, had the movie flopped, the studio would be more open to striking a deal with Disney that would potentially return the IP rights to Marvel.
"If it had failed, there is a chance Sony would have definitely returned to the bargaining table with Disney. Now, that's up in the air."
"[Sony] took a calculated risk with 'Venom,' and it's now going to be a series,. It seems Disney needs Sony's 'Spider-Man' more than Sony needs Disney ... If they consistently make films audiences want to see, Disney will have to buy Sony to get 'Spider-Man' back."
"This is just the beginning of Sony's reemergence as a studio of box-office distinction. They're not giving it up without a fight."
ComScore senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian backed up Bock's statement, citing that the box office haul for Venom will only motivate Sony to push through with their own cinematic universe. "A half-billion dollars in revenue for 'Venom' worldwide proves that this is no fluke, and despite a critical drubbing, the film has found great favor with audiences who are fully vested in the 'Spider-Man' brand as well as their embracing of Tom Hardy," he said. He's not wrong, as while the film wasn't a hit overall, there are those who genuinely enjoyed it and are actually looking forward to its sequel.
Aside from a Venom follow-up film - which was effectively set up in the post-credit scene with the reveal of Cletus Kasady aka Carnage played by Woody Harrelson - Sony is also planning a slew of other projects revolving around Spider-Man characters, such as Jared Leto's Morbius the Living Vampire and Silver Sable and Black Cat. If these films perform the way that Sony is expecting them to, perhaps a crossover with Tom Holland's Spider-Man (who is in the MCU) could come to fruition. Fleischer himself thinks that a face-off between Venom and Spider-Man is inevitable. Holding out hope that this will happen was reportedly also the reason why Sony opted for a PG-13 rating, instead of the long-presumed R.
Source: Business Insider