"Venom" is coming for your wallet. It's best chance is through a PG-13 rating, so ... goodbye R.
Tickets are now on sale for Tom Hardy's standalone "Spider-Man" spinoff. The rating has been revealed as PG-13, with a run time of 1 hour, 52 minutes -- perfect for multiple showings a day in thousands of theaters.
"Venom" was once eyed for an R-rating, but last month it was previewed that Sony was more likely to go for PG-13. They want to leave the door open for possible future match-ups with young Spider-Man, and maybe some Marvel Cinematic Universe crossovers. The MCU does not do R.
Plus, they want money. Who doesn't? But they especially want money to start building Sony's Marvel Universe. "Venom" is the first film in that universe, but there are more to come.
So while a PG-13 rating will disappoint hardcore "Venom" fans, it will also give the film a better chance at the box office, which gives Sony's Marvel Universe a better chance for future spinoff success.
Look at "The Meg." Jason Statham was open with his disappointment that the shark film was less gory and bloody than he signed on for. But it has made a killing at the box office with its PG-13 rating. The receipts don't lie.
"Venom" is already benefiting from its more family-friendly rating. According to Variety, early box office estimates show "Venom" opening in the $60 million to $65 million range. Sony went lower with predictions of $55-$60 million -- so if it does better they can say it beat expectations, and if it opens low they can say that was expected.
But as Variety noted, even if "Venom" opens toward the lower end of those predictions, it would still rank as the biggest October opening (not adjusted for inflation), topping the $55.8 million for "Gravity" in 2013.
"Venom" opens in theaters October 5th.
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Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake's experiments, Eddie's body merges with the alien Venom -- leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating. Read More