With X-Men: Days of Future Past entering theaters this weekend and Godzilla still rampaging after last week's big debut, the odds of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 outperforming its peers or even its predecessors look increasingly slim. Should investors respond by shorting Sony (NYSE:SNE) stock?
Guest host Alison Southwick puts this question to analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Tim says that earlier concerns that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would force too much story, too fast appear to have been validated. According to data supplied by Box Office Mojo, the movie is tracking lower than any of the Spider-Man movies that preceded it in terms of domestic grosses.
Of course, generous returns overseas could still allow The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to exceed $700 million in total grosses. Yet that would still be the lowest box office haul in franchise history -- and possibly short of Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which opened in April, a month historically devoid of blockbusters.
Nathan says the movie may suffer from spending too much time and too many plot points on teasing Sony's franchise aims. Audience reaction to the movie speaks to this possibility. According data compiled by Rotten Tomatoes, only 72% of moviegoers who saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2 approved -- better than Spider-Man (67%) and Spider-Man 3 (51%), but also worse than The Amazing Spider-Man (78%) and fan favorite Spider-Man 2 (81%).
Even so, Tim says shorting Sony stock would be too extreme a reaction to the film's disappointing tally. This, after all, is the company behind the PlayStation 4 so there's little chance mediocre results would hurt the underlying business. At worst, the studio scales back on plans to invest heavily in the Spider-Man movie universe.
Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. Have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2? If so, does the movie's financial performance surprise you? Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!
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Neither Alison Southwick nor Nathan Alderman nor Tim Beyers owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.