Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report owns Spider-Man but Sony (SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report controls the character when it comes to movies. That's a deal that predates Disney buying Marvel and it has led to an uneasy, often contentious relationship between the two companies where they have been unable to agree for periods of time, only to see how much they were leaving on the table and come back and make a deal.
That alliance has led to "Spider-Man: No Way Home," the first movie in the pandemic era to deliver $1 billion in box office. The film has currently generated about $242 million in profits even when you factor in marketing, actors getting a share of the profits, and other drains on the bottom line, Deadline reported.
That number, however, could get a whole lot bigger.
How Much Will Spider-Man Make at the Box Office?
"Spider-Man: No Way Home" has been a saving grace for the struggling AMC (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report and Cinemark (CNK) - Get Cinemark Holdings, Inc. Report movie theater chains (albeit a temporary one). That should continue for a few more weeks though there are factors that could cause the film's box office run to end prematurely.
"Should movie theaters remain open amidst the Omicron surge, particularly given all the Covid-safety measures they’ve implemented, and the Tom Holland-Zendaya-Benedict Cumberbatch movie remains on a steady box office track, it’s quite possible that the Sony feature will see a profit that’s close to 3x what it’s currently generating with an estimated $610 million," wrote Deadline's Anthony D'Elessandro.
Those profits won't all happen at the box office. D'Elessandro's sources factored in all the money the movie will generate for Sony outside of theaters as well based on its box office totals.
Currently, these numbers do not include the film being released in China. Should that change, the bottom line would theoretically get even bigger.
Does Walt Disney Get a Cut of the Profits?
The Mouse House won't make the money it would make on a wholly-owned film, but it also won't go home empty-handed.
"Disney’s Marvel covered 25% of the production cost ($50M) and will reap 25% of the combined pool profit here (estimated to be $152.5M at this ultimate forecast),"
That's better than the 5% of profits Marvel agreed to when it originally sold the rights to the character before it was owned by Disney. Back then, the company wanted to make a cut of box office returns, but its main goal was increasing licensing revenue for the character.
Disney controls the merchandising rights to Spider-Man and it should see a big bump in sales from the highly successful movie driving interest in the character.