For about 20 years, Ray Keating wrote a weekly column - a short time with the New York City Tribune, more than 11 years with Newsday, another seven years with Long Island Business News, plus another year-and-a-half with As an economist, Keating also pens an assortment of analyses each week. With the Keating Files, he decided to expand his efforts with regular commentary touching on a broad range of issues, written by himself and an assortment of talented contributors and columnists. So, here goes...

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

“Venom 2” Assaults Ears, Eyes, Intelligence … and the Box Office

 by Ray Keating

The Keating Files – October 5, 2021

(This article originally appeared at


Venom: Let There Be Carnage ranks as one of the worst movies I’ve seen … ever. And yet it’s breathing life into the pandemic box office.


While the first movie – Venom (2018) – was dull, this sequel is too much of an assault to be boring.  The noise is an assault on the ears. The abysmal special effects are an assault on the eyes. The lackluster, uninteresting characters are an assault on storytelling. And the story, well, is an assault on one’s intelligence. 

There was, however, one blissful moment in the movie after Venom leaves the body of Tom Hardy’s character Eddie Brock. Brock is soothed by the sudden calm and tranquility. I was envious of Eddie at that point. Alas, it was the briefest of periods, as the attacks on the audience quickly resumed.


Venom, of course, is a Marvel character, but the movie came from Sony. It has to do with the Marvel-Sony deal made years ago over Spider-Man and related characters. But subsequent deals, of course, brought Spidey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with, unfortunately, Venom. And there was, in fact, the obligatory mid-credits MCU scene.


After seeing Venom: Let There Be Carnage, my initial thought was that Disney probably isn’t going to be pleased. Putting aside the mountain of ills in this film, the tone is strikingly different from MCU movies.


But then there are the astounding box office numbers for the opening weekend of this monstrosity of a movie. Venom: Let There Be Carnage broke the pandemic domestic box office record with an opening weekend box office take of $90.1 million. The worldwide box office, according to, registered $103.9 million.


By the way, Venom: Let There Be Carnage had an opening weekend domestic box office take that was actually larger than the 2018 Venom, a time when the pandemic was not even imagined.


What does all of this say about today’s moviegoers? Well, Variety noted, “‘Venom 2’ continued that trend: 62% of ticket buyers were male and 55% were under the age of 25.” Not only is that demographic less concerned about the lingering pandemic, it apparently is far less concerned with some minimal level of quality storytelling as well – at least when it comes to Venom.




Ray Keating is a columnist, novelist, economist, podcaster and entrepreneur.  Keating has three new books out. Vatican Shadows: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel is the 13ththriller/mystery in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.comPast Lives: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story is the 14th book in the series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed book at www.raykeatingonline.comAnd order the 15th book in the series What’s Lost? A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story.


The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?


You also can order his book Behind Enemy Lines: Conservative Communiques from Left-Wing New York  from Amazon or signed books  at His other recent nonfiction book is Free Trade Rocks! 10 Points on International Trade Everyone Should Know


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Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of DisneyFree Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.


Check out Ray Keating’s Disney news and entertainment site at

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