Spider-Man's relationship with the box office has been more complicated than Ned Leeds and Betty Brant's relationship in Spider-Man: Far From Home. After 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2's deceptive $709 million worldwide haul, Sony Pictures were forced to pivot once again, this time envoking the help of Kevin Feige and Co. at Marvel Studios. Then-unkown actor Tom Holland was cast, Spidey teamed up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes for a couple universe-shaking wars, and the rest is history. While Holland's web-slinger won the hearts of fans and helped defeat mad titans and master of illusion, his real test would be against a foe few have mastered: the global box office.
While Sony and Marvel can argue for years about who deserves full control of the webslinger, one thing remains undisputed: Spider-Man is money. According to Deadline's Most Valuable Blockbuster of 2019 Tournament, Spider-Man: Far From Home is Sony's most profitable picture of last year, beating out other 2019 Sony blockbusters such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Jumanji: The Next Level and the Oscar-winning Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Far From Home ranks No.8 on Deadline's list of most valuable blockbusters.
WHAT THIS MEANS
After a successful solo-outing and a now record-breaking sequel, fans would think Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures would have no issues getting along. Well, this might actually make matters more complicated.
Far From Home is Sony's biggest box office haul of all-time, and these figures further distinguish its success from other Spidey outings. Holland's second solo-outing pulled in $787 million in revenue against $448 million of cost to net a $339 million profit, an astronomical increase from 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming's $200.1 million profit. These numbers beg the question that has divided the collaborating studios for over a year: Does Sony need Marvel to make Spidey a success?
When Sony and Marvel hit a crossroads last summer when negotiating a new Spidey/MCU deal, everything came down to financials. Sony looked at their success with 2018's Venom, a global box office hit made without the help of Marvel Studios. The next summer, Sony hit a home-run again with Far From Home, citing its success as evidence that Venom was no fluke. While both sides eventually reached a two-film extension that felt more like a compromise than a deal, Spidey's long-term future remains uncertain.
Tom Holland is set to suit up at least twice more in the MCU, including next year for an untitled (but "home"-related) third Spider-Man solo flick on July 16, 2021.