Top Gun: Maverick has consistently been crushing the box office since it came out this past May, earning more than $618 million in the U.S. and another $620 million worldwide. With the possible exception of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever coming out in November, Maverick looks like it’ll end up the highest-grossing movie of 2022... and it has Venom: Let There Be Carnage to thank?
Or so says Sony, who believes Sony’s Venom sequel is somehow responsible for paving the way to Top Gun: Maverick’s success. In an interview with Vulture, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group co-president Sanford Panitch said, “There’s so much press about Top Gun right now. It’s like, ‘The movie business is back!’ In a weird way, I would say Top Gun is benefitting from us taking our shot. Venom is the start of that story that allows Top Gun to do the kind of business it did.” Added Sony’s other co-president, Josh Greenstein: “When we first started releasing movies [like Venom: Let There Be Carnage] last October, there were really no other big movies. Everyone had pushed their big movies to this year, to this summer. We took a big gamble putting Venom in theaters.”
Uh... okay. Just to put things in context, here are some of the major movies released just before and after the Venom sequel, as well as their domestic grosses:
- September 3, 2021: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, $224 million
- October 1, 2021: Venom: Let There Be Carnage, $213 million
- November 19, 2021: Ghostbusters: Afterlife, $129 million
- December 17, 2021: Spider-Man: No Way Home, $804 million
- March 4, 2022: The Batman, $369 million
- May 6, 2022: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, $411 million
- May 27, 2022: Top Gun: Maverick, $618 million
What the hell is Sony talking about? Clearly, if you’re talking about the movie that got people back in theaters in 2021, you’re either talking about Marvel’s Shang-Chi, which outgrossed Let There Be Carnage in the U.S., or more likely Spider-Man: No Way Home, which sold so many movie tickets its currently the third highest-grossing movie of all time. If the 2022 box office has any film to thank, it’s No Way Home. And the latter is also basically a Sony movie!
So why credit Venom with the success? It did well but it pretty unequivocally had nothing to do with the box office power of a movie about fighter pilots that came out more than half a year later. Movie executives are silly.
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