Amy Pascal: Disney/Sony “May Not Happen Again” After Homecoming Sequel


Is Spidey’s MCU Homecoming shaping up to be a brief, finite one? Here’s a clip via cosmicbooknews.com of former Sony chairperson & Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Amy Pascal discussing Sony’s Spidey and the MCU at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. What Spider-fans are focusing on right now is Pascal seemingly saying that Marvel and Sony’s deal doesn’t expand past the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Now why would she say this? First off, watch the clip:

She says a lot of “blah blah blah” PR stuff about director Watts, how this film is “unique,” etc. Then she hints that it Spider-Man in the MCU may be over after… err… Spider-Man Homecoming 2: The Promening? So why does she bring this up during a press interview?

One possibility: They just announced two new pictures featuring three Spider-Man characters that apparently has no ties to Spider-Man. They’re also low on cash. What better way to get some cash than to press Marvel to extend the Spidey/MCU deal? Sony may feel Pascal’s comment adds pressure. Meanwhile, Kevin Feige is lighting cigars with thousand dollar bills.

Another possibility? One thing outdoor folks will tell you is to appear bigger than you are when confronted with the threat of a wild animal. If you see a black bear, stretch yourself up and raise your arms, expanding them out – to look bigger. Act a little crazy and make the animal think twice about confronting you. The same rule applies in business and film: if there is blood in the water, try to make it look like you hold more cards than you really do. Sony’s blood is definitely in the water; it is hemorrhaging cash. Her posture here makes me wonder if Disney hasn’t already voiced an interest in buying Sony Pictures away from the parent company to get Spider-Man back. So she, and the studio, may be trying to look more important than they actually are now. Perhaps they think Marvel has saved their studio by creatively righting the Spidey ship and giving them a film they can maybe make a lot of money on. Or they’re just trying to put on appearances to try and drive the price up for any buyout offer. After all, Pascal would have you believe this was all so “selfless,” as she says, of all the studios involved to do this. Haha!!

Either way, Pascal’s posturing is odd; she’s not in charge of Sony Pictures anymore. She’s just a producer, after having been fired when Sony started having cash problems and their movies started disappointing at the box office. Oh and yeah after saying a lot of embarrassing things that were revealed via email hacks which brought her judgment into question. She’s a big part of why Sony Pictures fell from grace in the first place.

Still, another possibility? She’s just rambling. In the clip, Pascal seems to be winging it and trying to sound substantive, so maybe she just let herself get a little carried away.

George Berryman! 

(13) Comments

  1. Jack

    All Disney has to do here is make two good Spider-Man movies, earn a bargeload of money, and then once the contracts are fulfilled stand back and let Sony burn to the ground.

  2. Thrawn

    @Tnr "They're desperate for money and are willing to milk every last ounce of life from the franchise. Do we know how much money Sony gets from something like Civil War and Infinitely War? Not nearly enough compared to solo films, I'm sure." It's worse than you know actually. I've been following the specifics of Sony's Spider-Man deal for a couple of years now, and while nothing is 100% confirmed, they actually make somewhat less off the movies than you think. It's been reported that Sony doesn't get the money (or at least not all of it) from the merchandise. Marvel actually gets that. On a big blockbuster super hero movies, the merchandise is where a big chunk of the money is made. Immediately when Disney bought Marvel they also obtained the tv rights (animated at least) to Spider-Man for an undisclosed sum of money. Sony truthfully doesn't really benefit from having Spider-Man other than the name bran recognition and what money do they make from the franchise. The problem is while they've been making less and less off the movies, they still make money and it would be dumb of them to let it go back to Disney.

  3. Ryan C Read

    I'm in complete agreement. It is like the new manager/boss who has hired to fix things. They do just that and then go: "Well, I got you this far, now it's up to you." Then the screw it all up again, when the lesson is: "Get rid of the people who don't know how to do it or keep screwing it up in the first place." Seriously, with the involvement with Spider-Man in not only the two planned MCU films but also Avengers: Infinity. Why Disney would then just give Spider-Man back to Sony would be beyond me, when it would be a cash grab for Disney/Marvel. It's like with Fox and Fantastic Four right now. They don't want to admit defeat and give up the FF because: "Look, we know how to do X-Men and Deadpool right!" "So, we don't need your help Marvel."

  4. George Berryman - Post author

    "Not to be a cynic, but it sounds like they just wanted Marvel to save their franchise, and plan to cut ties as soon as they're sure it's profitable again." Feels a bit like that, yeah. Like someone who cannot swim is drowning, and someone pulls them up into a boat to save them... then when they can see land a half mile out, the non-swimmer jumps back in the water saying 'Thanks, but I can make it from here!' Marvel can step in and "fix" things for them (financially speaking) but Sony doesn't have the first clue about what to do creatively on their own.

  5. tnr105

    So in confirming the Venom movie has no relation to MCU Spidey, Watts inadvertently admitted Sony's left hand has no idea what the right is doing. http://comicbook.com/marvel/2017/03/29/spider-man-homecoming-venom-marvel-cinematic-universe/ They're desperate for money and are willing to milk every last ounce of life from the franchise. Do we know how much money Sony gets from something like Civil War and Infinitely War? Not nearly enough compared to solo films, I'm sure. So long as Marvel has creative control, maybe Sony is paranoid they'll relegate Spidey to showing up in ensemble team up movies? I mean, it's kind of what they've done with the Hulk. Universal has those solo film distribution rights, much like Sony does with Spidey. If they don't want that to happen to them, I can see on a business level why they might not want to update the deal. Not to be a cynic, but it sounds like they just wanted Marvel to save their franchise, and plan to cut ties as soon as they're sure it's profitable again.

  6. tnr105

    Have you seen THIS particular video, George? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv-C2x8TrM0 Suddenly it's relevant again, isn't it? Sony's going to throw their poop at the wall and hope it sticks. Meanwhile Kevin Feige will be wiping his ass with Benjamins. Lovely image, isn't it?

  7. Thrawn

    My sincerest apologies George. ;) That particular bit of information was I believe a Midnight's Edge video? It might have been this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P69xQceKes8 I can't recall exactly. I'm in the middle of writing a paper for school right now or I'd take the time to find it for you. The validity of the statement is of course not verifiable and I know nothing of entertainment contracts, but it sounds like a reasonable clause to put into a contract to me.

  8. George Berryman - Post author

    "As far as your comment about Disney potentially buying Sony, George? I don't believe they need to. There was an article or it may have been a Midnight Special video that speculated if Sony is bought out by another studio, the Spider-Man rights automatically revert back to Marvel." I am now keenly interested in this and must now research it. You have delayed my evening sandwich--! Damn you, Thrawn! Daaaamn yooooou!! :p

  9. Thrawn

    She sounds dumber than a bag of hammers. Amy Pascal has always been clueless and grossly incompetent at her job. Her hacked emails were illuminating. She has very little - if any - influence left at Sony. I'd personally not put much stock in anything she says. She also appears to have put on a bit of weight from the previous images I've seen of her. Her face looks very fat in that video. I wonder if she's been sick or is on medication based on the recent stresses she's been through. Ah well. It's not important. As far as your comment about Disney potentially buying Sony, George? I don't believe they need to. There was an article or it may have been a Midnight Special video that speculated if Sony is bought out by another studio, the Spider-Man rights automatically revert back to Marvel. We'll see.

  10. George Berryman - Post author

    "George! I'm not sure if having Ganke in a Peter Parker movie counts as "creatively righting the Spidey ship", but Marvel and Sony seem confident it will at least right the ship financially. " Yeah this is what I meant by righting the ship. Creatively they haven't but they're going to make big boy money finally, something Sony hasn't done with Spider-Man since Raimi. Well maybe they will make big boy money. Possibly. It'll at least do better than ASM2. Feels a little like Pascal is maybe trying to pre-emptively take credit for what Marvel did for them.

  11. Borvoc

    George! I'm not sure if having Ganke in a Peter Parker movie counts as "creatively righting the Spidey ship", but Marvel and Sony seem confident it will at least right the ship financially. Amy Pascal may indeed be playing hard to get, as you indicate. She may also just be discussing how amazing it is that Sony, Disney, and Marvel all got on the same page to make a movie together. Granted, Disney owns Marvel now, so it's really just two companies coming together instead of three, but maybe maybe the fact that Disney owns Marvel is in itself amazing? I guess I'm just bringing up the angle that it's possible her focus is less on "this may never happen again" and more on "this is a big deal". Either way, it sounds like the agreement was only for two films. I'm sure, however, that lightning will have to strike at least twice where the money is, and they'll work out a way to make more if the first two are successful—assuming Marvel and Disney don't pull out in an attempt to force Sony to sell the rights back, etc. Marvel could always put focus on everyone's favorite Inspideys instead and decrease the value of the Spidey brand before attempting to buy it back. Also, is Amy Pascal back with Sony again? If so, then good for her, but I'm confused.

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