‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ Plummeted Over the Weekend. How Bad Is That for Sony?

While a 59% drop in box office grosses isn’t terrible, stiffening competition bodes poorly for the “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

May 12, 2014 at 8:13PM

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't putting up the spectacular numbers Sony (NYSE:SNE) Pictures executives were hoping to see.

Box Office Mojo reports that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earned an estimated $37.2 million is U.S. theaters over the weekend, upping its domestic haul to $147.9 million overall. Worldwide, the Spidey sequel has grossed $550.9 million to date. A good figure, to be sure, but also a far cry from what its predecessor earned in a less competitive summer movie season. Catching up won't be easy.

Magneto And Godzilla

Two monsters of the cinema are coming your way soon: Legendary's Godzilla on May 16 and Michael Fassbender as the mutant malcontent Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23. Credits: Twenty-First Century Fox and Legendary Pictures.

A big bet that isn't paying off ... yet
How bad is it for Sony? I've got some figures comparing The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the table below. Before we get to that, it's worth noting that the studio has bet on much more than a $250 million sequel.

"We are expanding the Spider-Man universe into The Sinister Six and Venom, so that we have Spider-Man movies every year," Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal said in March.

That won't be easy to pull off, especially if the Wall Crawler's newer movies can't deliver as well as Sam Raimi's trilogy from a decade ago. The Amazing Spider-Man still ranks as the lowest grosser in franchise history, and it still may outperform The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Have a look at the scorecard:

Metric
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Release date

July 3, 2012

May 2, 2014

Worldwide gross
(first 4 weeks)

$602.6 million

$550.9 million (estimated)

Production budget

$230 million

$250 million (estimated)

Est. marketing and distribution

$75 million

$80 million

Est. box office break-even

$610 million

$660 million

CinemaScore / Rotten Tomatoes

A- / 78% (audiences)

B+ / 73% (audiences)

Sources: Box Office Mojo, BoxOffice.com, Entertainment Weekly, Rotten Tomatoes.

A web of profits still likely
Where does this leave Sony investors? Probably wondering if Pascal's franchise ambitions are as realistic as they seemed only a few months ago.

My guess is nothing has changed. Even if The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fails to match its predecessor's $752 million in worldwide grosses, the film is still likely to be box office profitable by the end of its run. Mix in DVD, Blu-ray, and digital sales and the numbers start to look even better.

So even if Spidey gets stomped when Godzilla enters theaters -- and then promptly forgotten when X-Men: Days of Future Past shows up a week later -- chances are the Wall Crawler and his enemies are still well positioned to bring years of profits to Sony shareholders.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2? What do you think of Sony's chances to use the film's villains to help grow the franchise? Leave your take below, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Sony stock at current prices.

Amazing Spider Man

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should still succeed even if it fails to earn more than its predecessor. Credit: Sony Pictures.

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