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Sony Admits Selling Spider-Man Merchandising Rights Were Short-Sighted

Matthew Mueller

02/02/2017

Sony's film division isn't doing so hot at the moment, facing an almost $1billion dollar write-down and rumors that it will sell the ailing division.

That wasn't always the case, though, and at one time Sony was riding high atop its Spider-Man franchise. While the franchise is again in fan's good graces with a reintroduction in Captain America: Civil War and an upcoming solo venture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony admits they would have made different decisions in hindsight.

Most of that regret comes in the form of merchandising, something Sony sold to Marvel back in 2011 in return for needed cash.

Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony's chief financial officer, spoke on an earnings call and admitted that the decision to let those go was a bad one (via The Wall Street Journal). “We had sold some assets of the studio, such as merchandising rights of Spider-Man, to raise short-term cash in exchange for long-term cash flow when the electronics units were struggling,” he said.

With Spider-Man flying high once more, the profits from merchandising would far exceed profits from the box office, especially with all the excitement Civil War drummed up and Iron Man's appearance in Homecoming. The good news for Sony is that while it might not have the merchandising anymore, it still has a piece of the success thanks to their most recent deal with Marvel, so it's not all bad.

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

The cast includes Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. It also includes Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, Kenneth Choi, Michael Mando, Selenis Leyva, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., JJ Totah, Hannibal Buress, and Jacob Batalon.

Spider-Man: Homecoming directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car), based on a screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Vacation reboot) and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.

Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters July 7, 2017.

MORE: New Look At Peter's Homemade Costume / This Spider-Man: Homecoming MAFEX Figure Looks Amazing / Tom Holland Describes Worst Day Filming Spider-Man: Homecoming / Tom Holland Says Wearing Spider-Man Suit The First Time Was Disappointing / Domestic Trailer / International Trailer / First Look at Shocker / Iron Man Cameo Revealed / Spider-Man Has Wings! / Tom Holland Looking Forward To The Batman movie

(Photo: Sony Pictures)
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