“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” roared to $90.1 million in its debut, setting a new pandemic record. It’s an impressive result, one that provides a lifeline to struggling movie theaters and (once again) proves Marvel’s might at the box office.

The much darker “Venom” follow-up comes from Sony Pictures and is separate from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, which recently delivered “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Black Widow” — the two highest-grossing films of the year at the domestic box office. If its first three days in theaters are any indication, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” looks on track to join those blockbusters as 2021’s biggest earners. The film is playing only in cinemas, as opposed to being available in a hybrid release on-demand — a factor that should help ticket sales.

“We are also pleased that patience and theatrical exclusivity have been rewarded with record results,” Sony’s chairman Tom Rothman said in a statement to press. “With apologies to Mr. Twain: The death of movies has been greatly exaggerated.”

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