LOS ANGELES - "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," Sony's latest instalment in its Spider-Man Universe, debuted to pre-pandemic levels atop the North American box office, taking in $90.1 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.
The estimated haul for the Friday-through-Sunday period was the biggest three-day launch of the coronavirus pandemic era.
The film stars Tom Hardy as investigative journalist Eddie Brock whose symbiotic bond with an alien named Venom gives him superpowers. Brock must stop serial killer Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson, who has broken out of prison after merging with another alien.
In second place was another newcomer, "The Addams Family 2," which took in $18 million. The animated film by United Artists follows the iconically creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky family as they go on vacation.
After topping the box office for four weeks running, Disney's blockbuster "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" slipped to third, with $6 million.
The film stars Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu, Disney's first Asian lead, as a former assassin in the shadow of an evil father (Hong Kong legend Tony Leung).
Fourth went to new film "The Many Saints of Newark," the Warner Bros. prequel to cult television series "The Sopranos," which took in $5 million.
That put it well above musical teen drama "Dear Evan Hansen," distributed by Universal Pictures and starring Ben Platt, which took in $2.5 million.
Just behind in sixth place, with $2.3 million, was 20th Century's sci-fi comedy "Free Guy, which stars Ryan Reynolds as an everyman bank teller who discovers he's actually a non-player character in a huge video game.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"Candyman" ($1.2 million)
"Cry Macho" ($1 million)
"Jungle Cruise" ($680,000)
© Agence France-Presse