Since Sony and Disney announced their unprecedented partnership to share creative control of Spider-Man back in February 2015, the powerhouse companies have kept quiet regarding any behind-the-scenes specifics of the deal. Though many have assumed Marvel demanded a portion of all future profits in order to bring Peter Parker into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that estimate has now proven to be far from the case. When their version Peter Parker makes his solo debut in Spider-Man: Homecoming next week, Sony will be taking home all of the film’s box office revenue.
According to the LA Times, Disney plans to make up the difference through their Spider-Man merchandising rights, which the company actually already had in place after acquiring them back in 2011. The only money that passed hands at the time of the deal was a producers fee for an undisclosed amount, which Sony paid Disney up front.
The deal provides a glimpse into the two studios’ drastically different approaches. After a record-breaking debut with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, the character met diminishing returns with each sequel. Eventually, a reboot came to pass and culminated in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which totaled out at just over $200 million at the domestic box office — roughly half the gross of the first Raimi film.
Marvel, on the other hand, was sitting pretty with their ability to turn just about any intellectual property into a goldmine. So, being able to creatively dictate one of their most popular comic characters proved worth the bold proposition. Disney wasted no time introducing the wall-crawler via a bit role in Captain America: Civil War, before spinning Tom Holland’s version of the character off into Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Swinging into theaters July 7, director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
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