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

"Amazing Spider-Man 2" is the least successful film in the franchise. Can Sony get the property back on track?

Jul 8, 2014 at 10:41AM

Tasm
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.

Xmen Mystique Fight

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. 

 

Keith Noonan has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. 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.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers