As of Monday, Spider-Man: Far From Home is now Sony Pictures' highest-grossing film of all time. The superhero sequel surpassed previous record holder, Skyfall, which earned $1.108 billion in 2012 -- not accounting for inflation, of course. All the more impressive is the fact that Far From Home achieved said feat prior to Sony's planned re-release of the film for Labor Day -- that cut of the film will include an additional 4-minutes of an action sequence.
Still, while Far From Home's continued box office success is a celebration for Sony, there's no ignoring the fact that the studio was only able to find success with Spider-Man on the big screen once again following the surprise deal between Marvel Studios and Sony. It was an unprecedented agreement -- and an unconventional one at that as the two parties would share the character -- and was ultimately the result of Sony's faltering Amazing Spider-Man franchise. With that in mind, we take a look back to just how Spider-Man: Far From Home came to be Sony's highest-grossing film to date.
It's hard to imagine a time before the Marvel Cinematic Universe these days, however, long before Kevin Feige was running things at Marvel Studios, he was working as a producer on films such as X-Men and director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man -- the latter of which is often seen as the holy grail of Spider-Man films.
The film not only cemented Spider-Man's A-list status as a comic book hero but also launched an entire movie series, taking in $827.7 million at the worldwide box office back in 2002. It would later be followed by Spider-Man 2 in 2004 and then the ever-so-divisive Spider-Man 3 in 2007. And while there had been plans for a Spider-Man 4, which Raimi has continually teased throughout the years, the film was essentially canceled with the studio instead opting for a reboot with 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man.
That series, of course, saw actor Andrew Garfield take over the role of the titular web-slinger from Tobey Maguire. However, while fans seemed to enjoy Garfield's take on Peter Parker, the rebooted franchise never quite took off like its predecessor with the first film only pulling in $757.9 million worldwide. Its sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, would go on to perform even worse with only $708.9 million worldwide. The film's poor performance essentially halted any further plans for Sony's Amazing Spider-Man films and ultimately led to the studio making a deal with its rival: Marvel Studios.
In 2014, Marvel and Kevin Feige began to have talks with Sony in hopes of securing the rights to use Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. There had been rumors that a deal between the two was being worked out, however, those talks seemed to stall for a bit. Until the now-infamous Sony hack of 2014, in which leaked emails confirmed what had been rumored. This ultimately forced Sony to approach Marvel about a potential deal once again and, in February 2015, the two studios officially announced both companies would share Spider-Man, allowing for the character to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while still allowing Sony to distribute Spider-Man's solo films.
The first Spider-Man film released under this partnership was Spider-Man: Homecoming. It went on to earn $880 million worldwide and catapulted Tom Holland into super-stardom. Since Homecoming, Holland has gone on to appear in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame -- the latter of which is now the highest-grossing film of all time. It was expected that Far From Home, the sequel to Homecoming, would see a bump from Endgame, but it wasn't entirely a given that it would surpass $1 billion. So, how exactly did Far From Home manage to become Sony's biggest film to date?
While Maguire's Spider-Man films -- with the exception of Spider-Man 3 -- still hold up and are often deemed some of the best takes on the character, there's no denying the third film ultimately lost audiences. After Raimi and Sony failed to come together to bring Spider-Man 4 to life, the studio decided to start from scratch to try and recapture the magic of the first Spider-Man film with The Amazing Spider-Man.
Despite a fantastic cast that included the likes of Garfield and Emma Stone, the new franchise failed to survive past two films after falling victim to the same mistakes of Spider-Man 3. The biggest problem with them? Sony focused more on trying to use the Spider-Man films as a springboard, so to speak, in order to launch other Spider-Man related projects -- such as the Sinister Six.
This doesn't appear to be the case with Marvel Studios, at least, not yet. Marvel currently has creative control over the Spider-Man films and it shows; rather than trying to incorporate more Spider-Man characters into the films, the studio seems keen on telling worthwhile Peter Parker stories.
And so long as Sony's Venom and Morbius films continue to exist on their own outside of the world being crafted by Marvel Studios, it seems unlikely the latest Spider-Man franchise will fall victim to the same traps as Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man films, luckily for Sony.