Demons Debates – Spider-Man: Sony or Marvel?

Anson Ballow

Sports Editor

Spider-Man made his Marvel comic debut in 1962 and has since been considered one of the most popular and iconic comic book characters of all time.

Through the 80s and 90s, Marvel sold various licensing copyrights of characters to different production companies in order to stay afloat.

Following the organization and subsequent global success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony remains the production company with the sole rights to Peter Parker. Sony has made a few ventures into solo Spider-Man films, but they have been met with varying public opinion and sup-par box office performance.

Following the performance of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Sony feels confident in its ability to continue the success of its solo superhero. However, the success of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is largely due to its incorporation into the now-familiar Marvel world that dominates the global box office.

Coupled with the resources of Marvel Studios and its accompanying heroes, as well as the loaning of MCU super-producer Kevin Feige to Sony, Disney and Marvel Studios feel they are entitled to more than the 5% earnings/merchandising rights they originally agreed to.

Marvel Studios traditionally slates three movies per year, and continuing to allot these resources to Sony for such a minimum profit cuts into the potential earnings if they only released movies they’ve solely produced.

The studios are applying completely different value equations to the Spider-Man movie rights. That is why it has been, and may continue to be, difficult for them to find a place to meet in the middle.

It’s not about greed or pride, at least not entirely. It’s about executives wanting, as they should, to get a deal that works for their business.

Disney has been called greedy for wanting more than it previously received for the Spider-Man movies, but it is not greedy to want more than 5% of the profits when Marvel Studios is doing more than 5% of the work on the global success of the franchise.

Sony is fighting for its life in an era of entertainment consolidation, and splitting profits on the studios biggest franchise hero is not in their best interest.

 

Brianna Corley

Arts and Living Editor

Spider-Man is Sony’s largest movie property. The deal made, ensuring Disney received 5% of first-dollar gross and all merchandising profit, was one to assure income for jobs and funds towards other varying projects.

While Spider-Man was created under the premise of Marvel and is most associated with the company, Sony has owned the exclusive rights to the character for what is nearing two decades.

Whether Marvel initially created the webslinger or not is a useless stance of debate as the rights ultimately belong to solely Sony. When the initial contract was signed, Sony allowed Disney to integrate Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and put up 100% of production costs.

With this considered, Disney’s proposal to entirely re-write their earliest agreement to one of a 50/50 cut after realizing the massive profit Spider-Man movies acquired stands as a testament to the corporation’s incredible greed.

Disney has consumed numerous companies throughout the film industry in recent years, leaving Sony as one of the few independent studios outside its newly formed mega-movie business.

Disney’s tactics of consuming all competition is horrendous for the world of film and acts as an aid in killing the creative job market. Disney is entirely in the wrong particularly when considering this deal solely stood for exclusively Spider-Man movies.

Disney holds the absolute freedom to use Spider-Man in any other varying Marvel property while retaining 100% profits from said movie the character appears in, such as sensational box office success “Avengers: Endgame,” and still is not content.

Sony has managed to stand its ground against both Disney and the incredible social media backlash received from the possible pulling of Spider-Man from the MCU.

Regardless of what the future and possible renegotiations may hold, that is a feat which is truly spectacular.

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