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Venom smashes Oct box office record with US$80m opening

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The film Venom stars Tom Hardy as a journalist who becomes the host for an alien symbiote that gives him superpowers.

Los Angeles

SUPERHERO blockbuster Venom saved the day at the North American box office last weekend, pulling in more than US$80 million in ticket sales, industry data showed on Monday.

The film, a Spider-Man spinoff marking the official launch of Sony's Marvel Universe, stars Tom Hardy as a journalist who becomes the host for an alien symbiote that gives him superpowers.

The character is a villain in the Spider-Man comic book world.

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Industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said the film took in US$80.3 million.

That was enough to break October's opening weekend record by more than US$20 million, said another industry tracker, Box Office Mojo.

Another new release took second place. Musical romance A Star Is Born earned US$42.9 million over the three-day weekend, Exhibitor Relations said.

The third remake of the 1937 film of the same name, it marks Bradley Cooper's directing debut. He also stars as a musician who discovers and falls in love with a young singer played by pop superstar Lady Gaga.

Third place went to Warner Bros's Smallfoot, with earnings of US$14.4 million in its second weekend. The comic family animation tells the story of a group of Yeti who come across a human, with voicing by Channing Tatum, LeBron James and Danny DeVito.

Coming in fourth was last weekend's champion, Universal's Night School, whose earnings dropped US$15 million to US$12.5 million this weekend.

The raucous comedy stars Kevin Hart as one student in a class of misfits working toward high school diplomas under the firm tutelage of Tiffany Haddish.

Fifth place went to Universal's family-friendly offering The House With a Clock in Its Walls, which slipped from third place last weekend with takings of US$7.3 million.

Rounding out this weekend's top 10 were: A Simple Favor (US$3.4 million), The Nun (US$2.7 million), Crazy Rich Asians (US$2.2 million), Hell Fest (US$2.1 million), and The Predator (US$947,000). AFP