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Venom 2 Just Passed Another Marvel Competitor At The Box Office

"Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage" is the second Marvel/Sony Spider-Man Universe movie to take this classic kinda/sorta villain out for a spin. In the comics, Venom is an alien parasite who must bond with a human host in order to survive. It has bonded with several different Marvel characters over the years, including Spider-Man himself. That obviously doesn't happen in this film; but it doesn't need to, because the story is self-sustaining all on its own.

In the sequel to the original 2018 film, serial killer Cletus Kasady bites off a little more than he can chew — literally — from Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), Venom's current host. That bit turns into a parasitic spawn of Venom that eventually names itself Carnage. Predictably, an alien parasite named Carnage with a taste for human flesh doesn't sit around crocheting and hosting tea parties for the rest of the movie; it goes on a bloody rampage, which Brock and his symbiote must stop at all costs. So far, the movie has earned an 84% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and raked in over $354 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo). But there's one other bragging point that "Venom 2" has earned in its opening weekend alone ... and we challenge you to try and guess what that is before scrolling down.

Venom 2 beat out Black Widow for best opening weekend at the box office

The domestic opening for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" blew "Black Widow" out of the water by just shy of $10 million. To be fair to "Black Widow," though, that's pretty much the only metric where the new "Venom" film has outperformed the MCU film. Going back to Box Office Mojo, "Black Widow" has outdone "Venom 2" in domestic, international, and worldwide ticket sales. It also has a substantially higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes among both critics and audiences. Some readers may be scratching their heads and asking, how did this happen? Well, there are many variables at play. But the COVID-19 pandemic and Disney's shifting business practices have a lot to do with it.

When "Black Widow" was released back in early July, Disney made a last-minute change and released it both in theaters and as a $30 pay-per-view option on their streaming platform, Disney+. Their contract with lead actor Scarlett Johansson, though, stipulated that it would be an exclusively theatrical release. COVID-19 cases were raging in North America at the time, so it's hard to say whether Disney made their decision to keep people home and safe, or to reap some profit from fans who they knew wouldn't risk going out to see the movie. Disney's actions resulted in a lawsuit from Johansson, though both sides have since reached an amicable settlement, according to Deadline.