While Marvel fans wait for Sony to finally give up on rebooting the Spider-Man franchise and give him back to Marvel, the recent hack of Sony Pictures has revealed some internal discussion about the franchise. It’s not about giving up the license, but it does give an impression that there are people inside Sony who are frustrated with the franchise and how long it takes for them to get sequels out.
Gawker has posted some of the internal discussion, and here’s the Spidey bit:
Are you aware that Men In Black 3 may gross $600M at the box office, and yet will lose money for SPE? Shouldn’t we question that strategy? Why are some studios making Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight – and we are considering movies like Moneyball, Steve Jobs story, Captain Phillips Story, Evel Knievel story, etc. Are you aware that SPE only has 1 franchise – Spiderman. Yet, it took 5 years to generate a sequel? Spidey 3 was released in summer 2007, #4 in 2012. Don’t harry potters come out over 2-3 years? Are you aware that SPE has only 1 franchise – Spidey? Yet we waited 5 years after Spidey 3 (2007) to release #4? Have you read the SEC annual report? Disney will make $300M on Spidey merchandise this year alone. We won’t!
The reason why Disney makes all the money on Spider-Man merchandise is because Sony gave up the rights to them. In exchange for Marvel staying out of Sony’s business while they develop the movies, Disney now has 100% of the Spider-Man merchandise rights. That’s why you still see Spider-Man marketed along-side the Disney-owned Marvel characters, yet Mutants and FF characters are being hidden.