First Man Box Office Image

“Venom” Chomps Again, While “First Man” Fails to Lift Off


October 12-14, 2018

(estimates from


Venom $35.7 million
A Star Is Born $28.0 million
First Man $16.5 million
Goosebumps 2:
Haunted Halloween 
$16.2 million
Smallfoot $9.3 million

Despite strong word-of-mouth, A Star Is Born just couldn't overcome the symbiotic power of Venom in their second weekends. The Spider-Man-adjacent flick repeated at the top spot, falling a typical 55 percent. It's now topped The Meg to make the top 12 for the year, and it's already outpacing Ant-Man and the Wasp from the all-powerful MCU. Its big weekend really wasn't a fluke. Get ready for some more Spider-Man villains who don't actually fight Spider-Man. A Star Is Born stayed in second place, though with a remarkable 35 percent drop. It will have cracked $100 million before next weekend, and will soon pass Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again as the year's biggest music-related movie.

First Man struggled out of the gate. The biopic about Neil Armstrong and the space program got great reviews, but it's a quieter movie, and it's got some serious competition. It's not a crowd-pleaser like The Martian. While that's the single biggest weekend for any Damien Chazelle movie, it's still going to struggle to earn back its $60 million budget. Hopefully audiences will wise up and it will get a second life come Oscar season.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was just behind First Man. That's a bit off from the original's No. 1 debut in 2015. But it may have some legs since there aren't many options for families until The Nutcracker and the Four Realms opens on November 2. Smallfoot rounded out the top 5 with $9.3 million.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Beautiful Boy, the harrowing drug addiction drama. The film, which has gotten great notices for its stars Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, averaged $55,359 on its four screens.
  • Bad Times at the El Royale had a bad time at the box office. It only earned $7.2 million, good for just 7th place.
  • The Hate U Give moved into the top 10, despite playing on fewer than 250 screens. The police shooting drama will go wide next week.

Next week:

Studios have cleared out of the way for Universal's Halloween sequel. David Gordon Green's take on the Michael Myers mythos ignores all the lackluster sequels and remakes over the last 40 years for a direct line to the original, with Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode, ready to take on her attacker one last time. While it won't be anywhere near as big as last year's big-screen version of It, I'm expecting a massive opening, somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.