Just a few months ago, the buzz on Venom was toxic. A movie about Spidey’s most famous villain without Spider-Man actually in it? No connections to the MCU? It all seemed to spell doom. But the runaway success of Venom proved everyone wrong. Not only has the film made over $200 million domestic on a $100 million dollar budget, it’s done so with fairly brutal reviews. Now, thanks to CBR, we see that the latest box office numbers show that the film is about to hit $800 million worldwide. And yes, that’s more than any X-Men film ever, even Deadpool. Maybe even more than Sam Raimi’s original blockbuster Spider-Man!So what does Venom’s success tell us? Never underestimate the power of a strong brand, because it often supersedes all other factors. The character is an icon to comic readers who grew up in the ’90s. But his appeal translates way beyond the usual comics fan base, and he has become a symbol of an anti-hero who has spent the past 25 years on t-shirts, basketball jerseys, and various other kinds of merch. Many folks who have never picked up a comic book in their lives were aware of Venom, and it translated into box office dollars.While this means a Venom 2 is all but assured, it’ll be interesting to see where this goes now that it’s a huge success. Do Kraven and Morbius have anywhere near the same cultural cachet that Eddie Brock does?  The next several years of Sony’s “Spider-Man universe that has no Spider-Man” should prove very interesting indeed.Are you shocked by Venom’s success? Be sure to let us know what you think down below in the comments.

Images: Marvel / Sony