Disney and Sony are taking a break when it comes to the Spider-Man property after the two studios couldn’t come to a new agreement. The dispute has taken place over the past few months and has resulted with Marvel Studios‘ president Kevin Feige no longer producing the Sony franchise and no more future involvement from Marvel.
Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement and there were discussions of extending that to other Spider-Man related films. Sony rejected that but offered other options. Disney currently receives “in the range of 5% of first-dollar gross” under the current deal.
But financially, it makes little sense for Sony to take Marvel’s deal. 100% of the average $742.1 million is better than 50% of the $991.5 million average of the two joint ventures.
Sony has also found recent greater success with the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Venom grossing $856.1 million. A sequel to that film is in the works and the Spider-Verse team is being tapped for more projects with Sony and are easy replacements for Feige along with producer Amy Pascal.
But, on average, Sony has just had more success on their own compared to Marvel on their own. When you take out the three Avengers team films, the average Sony live-action Spider-Man film grosses more than Marvel films. Worldwide, Sony sees $803.2 million per film compared to Marvel’s $758.6 million (and that includes Marvel’s four billion dollar solo films). Domestically, the two are similar with Marvel grossing $309.3 million compared to Sony’s $298.7 million. Internationally, Sony wins with $504.5 million to Marvel’s $449.3 million. While Sony’s average budget is higher, they still have a higher “profit” of $606.2 million compared to Marvel’s $586.3 million. The multiplier for Sony is 4.65x on average to Marvel’s 4.17x. So, Sony has had success with their films before Marvel ever became involved (just because you didn’t like the film doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success).
Interestingly, the two are stronger together as their joint ventures beat both studios separately. On average the two joint Spider-Man films have earned $355.4 million domestically, $636.1 million internationally, $991.5 million worldwide, $824 million “profit,” and a5.96 multiplier. Sony’s original Spider-Man trilogy has still performed better than this third volume which has really seen its success at the international box office.
The two studios’ latest joint project, Spider-Man: Far From Home became Sony’s highest-grossing film of all time passing the James Bond film Skyfall.
It is expected director Jon Watts and actor Tom Holland will continue their involvement with the franchise for at least the next two films.
Sony has numerous Spider-Man related films in the works including a sequel to Venom with Andy Serkis directing and Tom Hardy returning to star. Morbius with Jared Leto is coming and films based on Kraven the Hunter, Silver Sable, and Black Cat are all rumored. Then there are the spinoffs to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. All of which will prevent a reversion of rights to Disney.
In reality, Sony has all the cards and Disney is the one that’ll have to pay up for once.