Sony Pictures is projected to set a new opening weekend record for October when Venom hits theaters. In an effort to get a cinematic universe of their own, Sony is putting Spider-Man's fan-favorite foe Venom front and center. They brought Tom Hardy into their fold to play the iconic anti-hero in a solo movie, which is directed by Ruben Fleischer. There's a great cast around Hardy, too, but a mixed marketing campaign so far has tempered expectations. While some may still be skeptical, Sony is betting on Venom being a hit.

The studio is currently developing several other standalone films that will coexist in a shared universe, one that is currently not connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the Marvel branding and superhero fare carries a built-in audience with it. There have been questions over just how successful Venom will end up becoming, and the early projections are very favorable.

Box Office Pro has reconfigured their estimations following the interest in Venom's second trailer became the most-watched trailer from the Spider-Man franchise. After originally forecasting a $30-$50 million opening, the site's data now points to a $65 million opening weekend. The full range puts $85 million as the high-end on the film's opening, but current estimates point to the mid-$60 million launch. If Venom can come close to this mark, it will set a new October opening weekend record - breaking Gravity's current 2013 record of $55.8 million.

As is always the case with box office projections (especially this far out), Venom's box office forecast will change as the film gets closer and reviews start to be made available. Should Venom exceed the expectations of many, its box office performance should reflect that and get it closer to the higher ends of estimates. But, if Venom isn't good, then the critical reception and bad buzz could drive business down. A good, even record-breaking, opening weekend doesn't guarantee success, though. The film's budget will play a factor, as will its legs at the box office - which, once again, will likely reflect its quality.

To put a potential $65M opening weekend in perspective, though, Venom would open almost identically to X-Men: Apocalypse, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. If it hits gets to $85M, movies like Doctor Strange, X-Men 2, and Spider-Man 2 will be within range. It also currently projects to be the lowest-opening for a comic book movie in 2018, but could beat Ant-Man and The Wasp's $75M opening. Sony is likely pleased with Venom's projections so far and could indicate their shared universe might actually take off this time around.

Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018