Box Office: ‘Venom,’ ‘A Star Is Born’ Both Head for Big Opening Weekends

In the fan-made feud between “Venom” and “A Star Is Born,” the real winners are movie theaters.

Tom Hardy’s “Venom” is heading for a robust $70 million-plus opening weekend and Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” should score impressively with around $45 million, early estimates showed Friday.

Both titles are coming in at the top end of forecasts and signal a dynamic start to the fall moviegoing season in North America and the biggest October weekend ever. Sony continued to downplay projections with a $55 million prediction, even after “Venom” scored $10 million in Thursday night previews, becoming the top October Thursday night title ever.

Warner Bros. has boosted its projection for “A Star Is Born,” directed by Bradley Cooper, to the $35 million range after launching with a solid $4.6 million in preview and sneak showings. But the early numbers indicate the fourth iteration of “A Star Is Born” is heading for a slightly higher opening weekend gross.

“Venom,” starring Hardy as a fearsome antihero, is expanding Friday to 4,250 venues, with expectations ranging from $55 million to $70 million for the weekend. It’s a slam dunk to become the top October opener, easily besting the record set in 2013 by Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” with $55.8 million.

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