Fans were so excited about Sony and Disney coming to an agreement to collaborate once more on a movie featuring Tom Holland as Spider-Man, that the details didn’t seem that important. But just for the record, the agreement calls for Disney to co-finance 25% of the third Holland picture, in exchange for a 25% equity stake. This deal also calls for Holland to appear in one more Marvel Studios film.
With Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige producing, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ grossed over $1 billion at the box office worldwide, making it the most successful of any of the ‘Spider-Man’ movies. Combined, ‘Far From Home’ and ‘Homecoming’ grossed over $2 billion. Amy Pascal co-produced those pictures, as well as ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and ‘Venom’. She will remain attached to the third Holland ‘Spider-Man’.
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The original deal negotiations broke down when Marvel/Disney wanted a bigger cut, in exchange for taking on more of the financial cost– 50%/50%. But Marvel already owns the licensing rights to ‘Spider-Man’, so Sony didn’t feel they deserved a bigger cut of the movies and didn’t feel that the 50% of financing was worth it.
While fans didn’t understand that, but it’s important to keep in mind that the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise is Sony’s cash cow. It’s basically what keeps the lights on. Just this year, Sony has seen disappointing performances from ‘Men in Black: International’, ‘Brightburn’, ‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’, ‘Miss Bala’, and ‘A Dog’s Way Home’, just to name a few. The successes of the ‘Spider-Man’ movies helps to offset the losses of other underperforming endeavors, so Sony can’t just give that money away.
But as fans pointed out, the ‘Spider-Man’ movies aren’t guaranteed to make all that much money without Marvel’s involvement. 2012’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ grossed a modest $262M at the domestic box office and $757.9M worldwide, and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ made $202.8M domestic/$708.9M worldwide.
And from a story standpoint, all of Hollands appearances so far have worked to fully entrench him in that reality, and ‘Far From Home’ ended on a massive cliffhanger. Sure, Sony could figure out a way around that, but would anyone want to see what they came up with?
It remains to be seen what fourth Marvel movie Holland will appear in. There isn’t another ‘Avengers’ movie on the horizon. The early buzz is that Sony and Marvel may develop a “call and answer” “shared detail universe.” It’s still too early to really get what that means, but it seems to indicate that Sony will continue developing their own universe with ‘Venom 2’, ‘Morbius’, and others, and will be freer to use Holland where needed, while he may be freed up to appear in additional Marvel movies, once again as needed.
‘Homecoming’ and ‘Far From Home’ director Jon Watts hasn’t yet signed on for the third but is reportedly close to closing a deal.
Sony has already announced that the third ‘Spider-Man’ movie in this cycle will be released on July 16, 2021. From there? Well, you may need Madame Web to see what will transpire.