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With Rumors Of A Delay For 'The Amazing Spider-Man 3,' Is Sony's Biggest Franchise In Trouble?

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by Oliver Lyttelton
June 13, 2014 9:32 AM
27 Comments
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Amidst all the hoo-ha about the Warner Bros./DC Comics release schedule that landed yesterday, a little tidbit slipped out about when we might next see a film for one of the big rival superhero franchises. Ahead of the release of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" earlier this summer, Sony announced a summer 2016 release date for "The Amazing Spider-Man 3," and a similar date for "The Amazing Spider-Man 4" in 2018, with "The Sinister Six" and "Venom" spin-offs also planned at some point.

But Mr. Beaks at Ain't It Cool News has heard of reports that "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" might end up being pushed back until 2017, and while there's no confirmation of that being the case, it's not hard to believe. The summer of 2016 is already looking almost as packed at 2015, with "Batman v Superman," "Captain America 3" and "X-Men: Apocalypse" all landing in May along with with "Alice In Wonderland 2"; July bringing "Shazam!," "Tarzan," "King Arthur," a third "Planet Of The Apes" movie, "Independence Day 2" and an untitled Marvel picture (most likely "Doctor Strange," and "Finding Dory" and "How To Train Your Dragon 3" both currently slated to land just a week after "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" in June. In other words, another summer clusterfuck, and one that Sony might be smart to steer clear of.

Especially as "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" failed to live up to box office hopes. Sony were open about their hopes that the film would hit the billion-dollar mark, but in fact, it's proved disappointing: the film's already starting to wind down, and will make significantly less than the $260 million domestic total of its predecessor (it's struggling to cross the $200 million mark, in fact), and may fail to pass that film internationally as well: it currently stands at $700 million, $60 million less than the first film, and still well under any of the Sam Raimi films.

It was also greeted by fairly hostile reviews and word-of-mouth from fans, which hardly helps the franchise building that Sony tried so hard to pull off. $700 million isn't to be sniffed at: as expensive as the film is, it'll still make a profit, especially given the merchandising opportunities that go with it. But the studio was dreaming of the kind of profits that come with "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight" or "Iron Man," and look to have been firmly thwarted with that so far.

Now, one possibility is that the studio is using the release date as a placeholder, and will soon announce that "The Sinister Six" (which Drew Goddard recently dropped out of the "Daredevil" TV show for, suggesting it would be coming sooner rather than later) will take over that June 2016 date. But even that's going to be something of a risky move: it's a movie focusing on villains, with Andrew Garfield's Spidey likely to be a cameo at best, and of the six bad guys, we've only met Dane DeHaan's Goblin and Paul Giamatti's Rhino (Electro and Lizard are unlikely to return, owing to being dead and Rhys Ifans falling out with Sony, respectively), and that makes it a dicier prospect than most in a very tough summer market. We'd argue that Sony should act now and grab that early April date that paid off so well for "Captain America 2"...

The other possibility is that Sony paid attention to hostile fan reaction, and are actually taking the time to get the script for the third film right, rather than rushing it into release less than two years after the previous entry as they did with the second picture. But quality control hasn't exactly been the biggest concern with this franchise, right?

Fanboys should note that any doom and gloom connected to the franchise does not make it any likelier that Sony will give Marvel the rights to the character back: the merchandising alone means that Sony would continue to release a "Spider-Man" movie every other year until the world stops turning in order to hang on to them, even if they cost $100,000 and were released on four screens. But it's certainly clear from the box office of the most recent film that they need to shake things up if they're going to compete with some of their rivals.


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27 Comments

  • Bailey Potts | July 13, 2014 1:37 AMReply

    Sony doesn't really care about, spider-man, he's just being used to by sony, if they give him back they loose all the chances of getting money, spider-man is just a money machine for sony, marvel will do the character justice, marvel shouldn't have even given sony spider-man to begin with, the poor web head might never return home to marvel, instead he is another slave for sony to beat, they should have given spider-man back after the 3rd film was made, that film was damaging, but I have know someday that sony will mess up and they will have no choice but to let him go, in fact marvel should own the rights to all it's characters, when that day happens the world will rejoice.

  • Kyle | July 12, 2014 7:11 PMReply

    The movie rights need to go back to Disney and Marvel Studios !

  • Jeff | July 7, 2014 2:54 PMReply

    I think in spider man 2 there's weapons for the sinister six at the end ,where mr. fierce is actually norman osborn.

  • Picard | June 15, 2014 3:19 PMReply

    Actually Sony isn't making a profit from the merchandise since Disney has the rights to that.

  • OTT.norm | June 15, 2014 2:02 AMReply

    Marvel/Disney own the merchandising rights to the character, so Sony's profit has to come from the movies and DVD sales.

  • Shark | June 14, 2014 4:22 PMReply

    Can I say this,ASM 2 makes Spiderman 3(raimi's) a rather good benchmark to achieve and for those who think that I like Spidey 3 then that would be a misjudgment because it was the 4th worst marvel movie ( I would say, Daredevil, Iron Man 2 and Hulk) but No, Sony has to be just a going massive dickhead about it.

  • Alex | June 14, 2014 10:00 AMReply

    Sony should scrap their crappy "reboot" and bring back the spiderman timeline created with the Raimi films. There is still life in them and much better set up than anything they have done. Sony has ruined what was the benchmark of super hero films. Now DC, which has been far less successful than marvel, is trying to take their time. Meanwhile, Sony can't wait to become the Disney channel of cinema and force feed us predictable scripts, manufactured stars, and canned laughs.

  • Will | June 17, 2014 2:59 AM

    You are not the only one Cole. Aunt May and Uncle Ben were dead on in the Raimi films, in Webb's, eh not so much. How can JJJ be left out of this franchise, especially when they had the PERFECT actor for him in the Raimi films? Fox showed us that you can reboot a franchise and not make major changes to the main actors. This alone was the main reason why Fox has been so successful with the X-Men and Sony not so much with Spider-Man.

  • Abe | June 15, 2014 6:12 PM

    HOW IS IT A BAD?!?!?! This reboot as stayed true to the comics as much as possible, and a hell of a lot better than Raimi's spiderman did. I do think Spiderman 2 is still one of the best but TASM2 shit on Raimi's whole series. Credit needs to be given were its due instead of bitching.

  • Cole | June 14, 2014 6:36 PM

    Am I the only one who thinks the casts are mediocre in TASM franchise? They do not have the same caliber as the casts from the Raimi films, imo.

  • Me | June 14, 2014 7:21 AMReply

    The delay seems good in a business perspective but I sincerely hope they take this extra time to really make the third film truly amazing. I mean, I didn't find the first or the second as bad as some people make it out to be but they were, without doubt, extremely flawed. I'm sure we all want a Spider-Man that turns out to be at the same calibur as The Avengers, Nolan's Batman and the recent X-Men. This is what I want from Spider-Man and I hope they utilise the extra time to make the film truly memorable. As my favourite superhero, I believe this is the least that they can do for the hero and his fans alike.

  • CR | June 13, 2014 11:28 PMReply

    I haven't seen it, and won't until it costs me $1 to rent. I've been a Spidey fan since I was a kid and Sony has shown that they haven't known what to do with the characters since the 2nd Rami film. My personal boycott is on for the awful sounding spin offs and current direction of the films until they let Marvel/Disney take direction of the franchise and include it in the broader arc with Avengers. It pains me to think that this will never happen and they keep pounding this character into the ground with awful sequels and spin offs because they can make a buck.

  • Will | June 17, 2014 3:03 AM

    I won't even pay $1. I will either watch it on Netflix streaming or get it free online. Sony does not deserve my money until they release their stranglehold on Spider-Man.

  • Ryedog6 | June 14, 2014 5:13 PM

    U call urself a spidey fan? Hah

  • Mecha | June 13, 2014 11:13 PMReply

    Actually Disney owns the merchandising rights to Spider-Man.

  • SC | June 13, 2014 10:10 PMReply

    Losers and pussies ruined the box office by revealing Gwen's death and then people didn't wanna see it.

  • Will | June 17, 2014 3:05 AM

    Any TRUE Spider-Man fan already knew Gwen would die, so your argument is invalid.

  • Jp | June 14, 2014 2:48 PM

    Wait, Gwen died? I haven't seen it yet.

  • sc | June 13, 2014 5:59 PMReply

    The author fails to realize that Sony parted ways to the merchandising rights to Disney in 2011. This means they only profit from the film's success.

  • Chris | June 13, 2014 4:12 PMReply

    These idiots at the studios... They should've hired better writers and a different director. They literally had the perfect cast.

  • KT | June 13, 2014 12:15 PMReply

    Word on the street is Spider-Man will be appearing in Avengers 3... Sony talks a good game but they'll need the cash.

  • Rob | June 13, 2014 11:57 AMReply

    Sony's CEO's all recently had to take a pay cut... so yeah. And good riddance. Sony's screwed it up twice now.

  • Bobblahblah | June 13, 2014 10:33 AMReply

    Doesn't disney and marvel own the merchandising rights?

  • kitcon | June 13, 2014 9:55 AMReply

    They could use the favorite franchise saving tool -- time travel, and resurrect Emma Stone. Then make ASM3 all about her and Spidey. I'd watch that.

  • Sebastian O' Connor | June 13, 2014 9:51 AMReply

    Good. Webb's Spider-Man films are a POS. I'd be happy if the franchise just died.

    You think Sony isn't trying to bring back Electro and the Lizard for the awful sounding Sinister Six movie? The question is how much money they're willing to throw Foxx's and Ifan's way.

    I'm guessing of the 2015 summer movies you listed at least 3 get pushed back or are never made. Much like Amazing Spider-man 2, X-Men DOFP underperformed and Cap will likely move to avoid the Batman v Superman's Timer Warner media onslaught.

  • MFD | June 13, 2014 9:41 AMReply

    A movie grosses $700 million-plus internationally and is still termed a disappointment. Here is the profound corruption of today's filmmaking world writ large -- in giant, blinking, neon, 3-D letters.

  • me | July 14, 2014 5:00 PM

    Well sure $700 million is good but for a flick named Spider - Man not so much... Sure it's not a total lemon but still a far cry from what Raimi's flicks would noramlly take in... SM 3 took in nearly $900 million 7 years ago... The ASM saga is showing obvious signs of diminishing returns.. Sony's making these Spidey flicks to catch the 100 lbs marlin and not 12 tunas...

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