Sony’s decision to partner up with Marvel Studios for its latest Spider-Man film paid off. Spider-Man: Homecoming surpassed conservative estimates to web up a $117 million debut. That’s a bigger opening than all but Spider-Man 3, which slung its way to a massive $151 million opening.
Homecoming benefited from a fresh take on Spider-Man. This one was more in line with his comic persona and a better sense of the character. That approach can probably largely be attributed to the involvement of Marvel Studios. Spider-Man was brought back ‘home’ to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War. That cameo stoked a fan base wondering if another Spider-Man film was needed.
Based on the disappointing $202 million domestic gross for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, that answer was a loud yes for Sony. Homecoming is well on its way to surpassing the most recent Spider-Man film.
My big question is will this opening be enough to stir up some creative thinking at 20th Century Fox? While the X-Men franchise continues chugging along, Fox’s Fantastic Four franchise has faltered. The 2015 reboot limped its way to a terrible $56.1 million total gross. Homecoming nearly made that much ($50.5 million) on Friday alone.
Homecoming is already close behind Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($132 million) and will easily surpass Fantastic Four ($154.6 million) by the end of the week. Maybe this will finally be enough to convince Fox a partnership for ‘joint custody’ of the Fantastic Four with Marvel Studios isn’t such a bad idea?
For Fox, the FF is a dead in the water franchise, but Marvel’s First Family is useful to Marvel Studios. The FF would quickly be incorporated into the ongoing MCU saga. Sony essentially ‘lent’ Spider-Man out to Marvel Studios. But a key factor in the deal is Sony gets all the profits. For Marvel Studios, this was simply a way to put Spider-Man in their films and tell his stories under the MCU banner.
Outside of a massive ego stroke and some easily bruised feelings, there’s no way a similar sweetheart deal couldn’t be worked out over the Fantastic Four. Fox blew $120 million on the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot. Sony spent $175 million on Homecoming and that investment already looks like it’s going to pay off big time.
The fringe benefit is this should raise awareness/interest in Sony’s other Spider-Verse films like Venom and Silver Sable/Black Cat spinoff Silver & Black, which could include a Spider-Man cameo.
So what do you think? Can Fox execs see the benefit of a partnership with Marvel now to save the cinematic future of the Fantastic Four or will it stay business as usual?