Venom 3 and Ghostbusters 5 are in the works. At its CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas on Monday, Sony Pictures teased new Venom and Ghostbusters movies in a closing sizzle reel. While the former was all but expected given the commercial success of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and the fact that Venom star Tom Hardy has been planning Venom 3 since August last year, the latter is a little surprising since the soft reboot sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife wasn’t exactly a blockbuster hit. Sony Pictures hasn’t set a release date for either film, and no directors or cast members were announced either.
While I would expect Hardy to return in the lead role for Venom 3, it’s not as easy to say what will happen on Ghostbusters 5. The post-credits scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife hinted at a return to home territory for the franchise, as Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) brought Ecto-1 back from Summerville to New York City. The post-credits scene in Venom: Let There Be Carnage was only used to set up Hardy’s cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so it’s unclear where Venom 3 will go from here.
Of the two, Venom has been the bigger earner for Sony Pictures, with Venom: Let There Be Carnage grossing $502.1 million (about Rs. 3,839 crores) despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first film, not impacted by the coronavirus, made $856.1 million (about Rs. 6,546 crores). Meanwhile, Ghostbusters: Afterlife delivered $204.6 million (about Rs. 1,564 crores) at the box office worldwide. That was less than the 2016 female-led reboot Ghostbusters — COVID-19 was a factor for Ghostbusters: Afterlife too — but the new one was also made for about half the budget.
Critical reception was much better, though in my review, I noted that Ghostbusters: Afterlife felt like a “less fun Stranger Things, by way of Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with director Jason Reitman landing a “safe and calculated soft reboot.” The Venom movies, on the other hand, continue to be review-proof. Despite both instalments getting knocked out of the park by critics, they are making money at the box office — and in turn, convincing Sony Pictures to make more of them.