Sony-Disney Deal: Salvation for Spidey

With great profit, comes great responsibility.


Getty Images for Disney

Kevin Feige, groundbreaking Marvel Studios producer, and Tom Holland., who plays the current Spider-Man, announcing the new deal.

Spider-Man might’ve slipped out of Marvel Studios’ hands during summer, but the end of September has shown he’s back – for now.

Last Thursday night resulted in the signing of a new joint contract between Sony and Disney, with Sony retaining Kevin Feige’s skill in producing, but sacrificing 25% of box office profits to Disney. However, Disney will also now finance 25% of the Spider-Man films.

Negotiators included Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman, along with the President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige (with assistance from Disney Pictures co-chairs Alan Horn and Alan Bergman).

This past summer, Disney and Sony cooperated to produce Spider-Man: Far from Home, which resulted in the highest grossing Spider-Man film in the franchise, surpassing 1 billion for the first time in the web-slinger’s history.

Despite this, the success tempted Disney to cross the boundaries of their accepted contract with Sony to only profit from merchandising; they offered to finance the films and to also receive 50% of the profits from Sony. Sony was content with the deal as it was and refused to renegotiate, causing Disney to back out of the deal. Spidey was in limbo for the greater part of the summer, but September’s deal reeled him back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fans of the new Spider-Man will be relieved considering that Sony, when left to their own devices, killed the cinematic streak of success that Spider-Man had with his lowest ever grossing live-action movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. 

With that failure, Sony had lost the trust of die-hard Spidey fans, and casual audiences expressed less interest in the franchise.

It only took two years for that all to change with the release of Captain America: Civil War, the first time Spider-Man had been in a Marvel Studios film. Not only did Spider-Man suddenly boost in popularity, but his own appearance in the movie boosted ticket sales simply for the excitement of the wall-crawler being in a movie with other superheroes for the first time ever. Spider-Man was emptying the wallets of audiences and filling the wallets of Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.

While the contract negotiated has Kevin Feige producing more Spider-Man movies involving the MCU and starring Tom Holland as the titular Spidey, it is important to note that only one movie is currently planned regarding Spider-Man, and that is the third of his MCU films.

July 16th, 2021 is the planned release date for the sequel to Spider-Man: Far from Home, resulting in the creation of a second Spider-Man trilogy.

Spider-Man historians will note this deal as an anomaly regarding his film rights, but for us present Spider-fans: Spider-Man has slipped from the MCU already, and who is to say it won’t happen again?