Should Sony Panic About The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Box Office Sales?


Source: TheAmazingSpiderMan.com

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a disappointment for Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) . The film has brought in approximately $704 million so far, a fair sum, but far short of the company's expectations. Two months after release -- and momentum mostly depleted -- Spider-Man's latest outing stands as the series' weakest box-office entry.

The picture from director Mark Webb has also performed less impressively than many of the blockbuster season's other high-profile releases. Twenty-First Century Fox's (NASDAQ: FOX  )  X-Men: Days of Future Past is currently the year's highest-grossing film. Viacom has scored a hit with Transformers: Age of Extinction and will soon take that honor from Professor X and his mutant horde, all while Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) Maleficent is showing great legs.

With at least four movies currently in the pipeline, the expanded Spider-Man universe is central to Sony's film division. Can the company turn the property around and establish a successful expanded universe?

Strong webs have strong centers
Sony's reboot of the Spider-Man series got off to a bit of a rough start with the new timeline's first entry. The initial teaming of star Andrew Garfield and director Webb brought in $758 million at the global box office, which, at the time, made it the lowest-grossing entry in the series. Hopes persisted that the drop-off was symptomatic of the movie kicking off a rebooted franchise and that the property would grow with future installments. With the Amazing series' second entry delivering commercial decline, it's difficult to imagine that future installments will offer significantly better returns.

Spider-man compared to other cinematic heroes
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the rare modern superhero movie that has failed to earn more than its immediate predecessor. Disney's Captain America: The Winter Soldier delivered approximately $712 million in global box-office sales, compared to approximately $371 million for the first film in the series. Thor: The Dark World charged up approximately $645 million, delivering a substantial increase over the $449 million total generated by the Norse god's first solo outing. Fox's X-Men: Days of Future Past has earned approximately $725 million globally, while 2011's X-Men: First Class totaled about $354 million. Consider that Spider-Man used to be the biggest hero on the silver screen, and it's apparent that Sony has mishandled its most valuable cinematic property.

Source: X-MenMovies.com

Sony bet big on Spider-Man's less-than-amazing sequel 
The extent to which Sony believed in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is evident in the company's future release schedule. In addition to 2016's Amazing Spider-Man 3, the company also has plans to release spinoff movies Venom and Sinister Six. A fourth in-development Spider-Man movie is currently planned for release in 2018, but whether or not it's connected to the Amazing universe remains unknown. Sony's attempts at expanding its Spider-World make it likely that the mysterious film is planned as a continuation of the current series, even if the value of that strategy is being called into question.  

Does a slumping Spider-Man increase the possibility of an Avengers crossover?
The underperforming Amazing sequel has once again stoked the fires of speculation and highlighted the possibility of a crossover with Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. Less than three years ago, a deal was completed that saw Sony sell the Spider-Man merchandising rights to Disney. One of the results of this arrangement has been that Spider-Man is better promoted by Disney and Marvel and featured in products like the Infinity video game series, while Fox-held properties like X-Men and Fantastic Four have seen declining support from the media conglomerate and its comic publishing wing.

Rumors have circulated that Marvel is considering the cancellation of Fantastic Four comic books, and the company opted not to create new toy lines in conjunction with X-Men: Days of Future Past. While Sony selling the "Spider-Man" film rights to Disney remains unlikely, the possibility of some manner of movie crossover looks to be growing with time.

What does the big franchise stumble mean for Sony?
Amazing Spider-Man 2 reportedly had a production budget of $255 million and a marketing budget of at least $180 million. That means Sony is looking at a small profit on the pic. This latest box-office misstep is a huge problem for the company's film wing. The division posted a profit in the last fiscal year, but releasing so many big-budget movies in a declining franchise opens the door for significant losses within the next five years.

For all its eagerness to expand the cinematic Spider-Man universe, Sony has failed to sell audiences on the franchise's principal player. Unless the studio gets creative and delivers a well-received product with Amazing 3, the series' decline is likely to continue, and Spider-Man spinoffs risk getting caught in a web of public indifference.

What role will superheroes play in the war for your living room?
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple. 

 


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  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2014, at 12:06 PM, XBioniC wrote:

    First, X-Men DoFP is not the number film. It isinternationally, but not domestically. And domestic is critical. In fact, it has still made less that TLS from 06. The ONLY thing that has kept X-Men DoFP in the "game", is foreign take.

    Yet, that is deceiving, and you know it, Fool. So, let's break this down. Domestic brings in 50-55% profit for the studio. Foreign? A mere 15-30%, and 30% is high, some can get a little higher, but it is rare, and I mean RARE. So, we can safely about 22.5% is what Fox will get. Fox doesn't have rights to merchandising, so there is no profit at all there. While TAS2 is not making money, it still has some profit from toys and other merchandising.

    Now, I am not sure where you are getting 180mil in advertising AND 255mil budget, as 435mil is a most bloated number, and absolutely untrue, the movie did cost 330mil to make and market, and many sources can bak that up. So Sony is not going to make much of a profit, that is for sure. However, neither is X-Men DoFP, and this is the real story you should have reported on. As it cost 275-300 to make, in the same ballpark as TAS2, but without merchandising to back it up.

    Think about it, Domesitcally the movie has made 227.3mil so 52% of that goes to the studio, which is 118mil. Then they have 498mil internationally....which they get about 22.5% of, so that is: 112.05mil!!!! So add that together, and what do you get? A measily 230mil on a budget of 275mil with no merchandising. A LOSS. Sure, you can do that math where they get profits right away from theaters on opening day, but that doesn't change anything. So your article should really have been about X-Men DoFP. As that is the real disappointment of the summer.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2014, at 12:25 PM, spinod wrote:

    I don't see why they should worry yet. They are creating a universe and on a "bad day" they still make more money than Marvel's own movies. Once that universe gets going and they get some new characters and villains going, that is the true test. Sinister Six will be alright, but having Mysterio and Venom done properly will bring in the crowds.

    Plus I'm pretty positive Sony distributes across sea's as well, which means they get more of that money than most studios that sell over seas rights.

    They should just work out a deal with Marvel to allow Spider-Man in Avengers without losing rights. Perhaps allows some characters to appear in Spider-Man. That will shut up all the cry baby "give rights back so we get less movies from Marvel" folks, and allow them to happily go see Spider-Man with Sony's name on it. Plus allowing him to appear in Avengers will bring positive karma to themselves too as it will advertise the character more, and allow themselves to intertwine in the universe so people will willingly go see it purely for the Avengers tie in, ON TOP of their own universe plans.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2014, at 12:47 PM, keithnoonan wrote:

    Thanks for the comment, XBionic. Here's a link to the article where I found production and marketing costs.

    http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/amazing-spider-man-2-box-off...

    Other reputable sites list similar figures, although there is some variation across the Net. Here's another one for good measure.

    http://www.thewrap.com/amazing-spider-man-2-vital-sony-futur...

    You're correct about domestic gross bringing in a bigger cut than foreign, but studios are increasingly well setup for overseas distribution. Without knowing the specifics of a picture's distribution deals, I prefer not to write off the importance of foreign markets. International markets are where Hollywood is looking for growth, and a franchise on an upswing has increasing potential going forward. 'The Amazing Spider-Man' does not look to be such a series. Days of Future Past has outperformed it domestically, will pass it internationally, and appears to have restored interest in the X-Men franchise. Meanwhile, the rebooted Spidey series is looking increasingly weak. As is mentioned in the article, Sony also sold nearly all of its merchandizing stake in the property. I stick with my assertion that Future Past is a win for Fox, while Spider-man is a loss for Sony.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2014, at 1:26 PM, DirkDisco wrote:

    Why didn't Dirk Disco go see this? Because Jamie Fox looked stupid as Electro.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2014, at 3:07 PM, XBioniC wrote:

    @keithnoonan - You do not have to know the exact specifics about a foreign deal for B.O., you can mathemitaclly make a very accurate conclusion knowing that 15%-30% is the lowest and max. So doing the median is the best approach. International markets are looking for growth, because they get the least out of them, so the more they make overseas, the more they get back. That does not negate the massive importance of domestic, which is 50% or more in profit. So if a film makes 300mil in the US and 700mil internationally, then the studio gets 150mil from home and 157.5mil they get. So over 300mil is returned to them. And if the budget was a reasonable 150mil, they can make a profit.

    You are also, oddly, overlooking the merchandising for both of these films. TAS2's merchandising alone brings in, what? 100mil+? So that is added to the profits as well. X-Men by FOX cannot sell merchandising, no toys, nada. So there is no extra money coming in. So explain how DoFP is a win? And we are talking a few million in which DoFP has passed TAS2. I am not saying in any way, shape or form that TAS2 is a juggernaut. I am saying that DoFP is the one that is really hurting FOX compared to Sony being hurt by TAS2. So explain, mathematically how DoFP is the money maker and compared to TAS2?

    Also, those links you provided didn't give any facts or citations. One of them, you seem to rip exactly from word for word without citing them. And the other is closer to what I said, 350mil compared to my 330mil which is taken from boxoffice(.)com. A very VERY accurate site when it comes to movie budgets. Deadline? Not so much.

    See, your article should really focus on bloated budgets. Because TAS and DoFP do not look like the money was well spent. 275mil-300 for DoFP and 330mil-350mil for TAS2? Really? And studios think they will make money? Because they thought domestically they could reach 350mil and worldwide 600mil. That didn't happen. And the studios lost. Budget need to be TRIMMED down. Look at DotPotA, that movie doesn't have an official budget right now, but many believe that the movie was made AND marketed for less 150mil. A mostly CGI film made for what most studios pay to market the damn film. Still, I would like to see how DoFP is a winner for FOX as you claim.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2014, at 3:10 PM, XBioniC wrote:

    @keithnoonan - You do not have to know the exact specifics about a foreign deal for B.O., you can mathemitaclly make a very accurate conclusion knowing that 15%-30% is the lowest and max. So doing the median is the best approach. International markets are looking for growth, because they get the least out of them, so the more they make overseas, the more they get back. That does not negate the massive importance of domestic, which is 50% or more in profit. So if a film makes 300mil in the US and 700mil internationally, then the studio gets 150mil from home and 157.5mil they get. So over 300mil is returned to them. And if the budget was a reasonable 150mil, they can make a profit.

    You are also, oddly, overlooking the merchandising for both of these films. TAS2's merchandising alone brings in, what? 100mil+? So that is added to the profits as well. X-Men by FOX cannot sell merchandising, no toys, nada. So there is no extra money coming in. So explain how DoFP is a win? And we are talking a few million in which DoFP has passed TAS2. I am not saying in any way, shape or form that TAS2 is a juggernaut. I am saying that DoFP is the one that is really hurting FOX compared to Sony being hurt by TAS2. So explain, mathematically how DoFP is the money maker and compared to TAS2?

    Also, those links you provided didn't give any facts or citations. One of them, you seem to rip exactly from word for word without citing them. And the other is closer to what I said, 350mil compared to my 330mil which is taken from boxoffice(.)com. A very VERY accurate site when it comes to movie budgets. Deadline? Not so much.

    See, your article should really focus on bloated budgets. Because TAS and DoFP do not look like the money was well spent. 275mil-300 for DoFP and 330mil-350mil for TAS2? Really? And studios think they will make money? Because they thought domestically they could reach 350mil and worldwide 600mil. That didn't happen. And the studios lost. Budget need to be TRIMMED down. Look at DotPotA, that movie doesn't have an official budget right now, but many believe that the movie was made AND marketed for less 150mil. A mostly CGI film made for what most studios pay to market the damn film. Still, I would like to see how DoFP is a winner for FOX as you claim.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2014, at 3:38 PM, XBioniC wrote:

    Apologies for my double post.

  • Report this Comment On July 10, 2014, at 12:05 AM, keithnoonan wrote:

    Interesting posts, XBioniC. I appreciate the feedback and get the sense that you have a good grasp on the film industry. Here are a few more links suggesting a marketing budget in the upper range.

    http://www.cinemablend.com/new/5-Bold-Options-Spidey-Wake-Am...

    http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/weekend-box-office-amazing-spid...

    Here's a video from AMC TV discussing the Deadline article, implicitly agreeing with the site's report and discussing transparency in advertising spend, as well as Amazing 2's marketing and performance. It's stated that the movie will need to earn in the range of $700 million to break even.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j14e3n-3t0

    This New York Times article puts forth a total budget for the project at approximately $400 million.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/05/movies/amazing-spider-man-...

    Time also backed the Deadline report and to my knowledge has yet to publish a retraction.

    http://time.com/87047/the-amazing-spider-man-2-box-office/

    There's bound to be some dispute over exact numbers, but we're mostly in agreement on bloated budgets, though I'd say that there's a strong element of necessity behind the situation. What can be done to reduce that necessity is a very interesting puzzle.

    I think many of your other questions are touched on in the article. Merchandizing is an example, but for the sake of further clarity, the article is about what Amazing 2 means for Sony. With its merchandizing stake essentially gone, I don't think the company or investors will be placated by the fact that Disney and Marvel are selling toys when the latest film in its most valuable property falls $50 million short of its less-expensive predecessor.

    As for X-Men vs. Spider-Man, the former is still earning money, while the latter is pretty much done. I'm a bit swamped, so I'm not going to get into point by point mathematics as you may have requested. But, put simply, the resources I'm looking at say that X-Men was cheaper to make, a stronger box office performer, and better liked by audiences. Whether time renders the sentiment entirely correct or not, most would agree that X-Men delivered series growth and improved the franchise's outlook. Making the same case for Amazing 2 is a more difficult endeavor.

  • Report this Comment On July 10, 2014, at 12:23 AM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    @XBioniC

    As mentioned in the article and in the comment section by the article's author, Sony sold the merchandising right to Spider-Man back to Disney.

  • Report this Comment On July 10, 2014, at 3:26 AM, XBioniC wrote:

    @SuntanIronMan - The deal doesn't give Disney 100% of profits from merchandising from what I have read about the deal. Although, it is vague

    "Disney recently brokered a new deal with the studio that enables the Mouse House to collect most of the coin from Spider-Man movie products."

    Sony doesn't get a ton, but it still gets something in the deal. And Sony keeps all DVD and Film "Profits". I will admit, Sony is dumb in agreeing to this deal.

    @keithnoonan, I will will respond to most of your post when I can, but wanted to reply to this at least. The 200mil marketing is absurd, but if that is true, then it is true for DoFP as well. So that movie cost 400mil+ to make as well, since it is established DoFP is one of the most expensive Superhero films made at over 200mil.

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