Trying to create a cinematic universe built around famous Spider-Man characters without the web-slinger himself? Not exactly easy to do. And yet, that's precisely what Sony set out to do after redefining its partnership with Marvel Studios, which saw the latter (finally) introduce Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Unfortunately, rather than having learned any true lessons from its failed Amazing Spider-Man franchise, Sony appears to be set on quantity over quality. After all, Venom has yet to even hit theaters and yet, there have already been at least five other projects announced as in development: Morbius, Silver Sable, Black Cat, Kraven the Hunter, and Silk. So, how does Sony's first Spider-Man offshoot fare with critics? Let's just say the general consensus seems to be that Venom is enjoyable --- but for all the wrong reasons.
Venom admittedly already had one massive hurdle to overcome long before a trailer was even released. With Spider-Man confirmed early on not to appear in the film, fans were already skeptical of the project. And then news came that Sony's first Spider-Man spinoff wasn't even a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, leading many to write the film off early on. And then the first trailer dropped. Views were surprisingly high, managing to surpass those of last summer's blockbuster, Woman Wonder.
However, reading the online reactions, it was clear the response was mixed. Many were frustrated by Sony's decision to hide the actual symbiote from the trailer, and then the controversial pronunciation of the word in the trailer was immediately off-putting for some. Thankfully, the studio seemed to learn from its mistakes and fully unleashed Venom in the second trailer -- along with a rather confusing voice over for the symbiote.
To say that Sony's planned cinematic universe is off to a shaky start would be putting it lightly. Still, reviews don't necessarily mean as much as the box office, and should estimates hold, Venom should earn an October record with its debut this weekend. Then again, estimates are just that and critics could very well go on to influence moviegoers. Especially if fans were to read any of the following reviews.