Sam Raimi indulges in another one of his Silver Age fantasies as he imagines making Spidey IV with the Sinister Six as the villains:

Ultimately, if Sony considers the price tag too high for another Raimi/Maguire/Dunst collaboration, then the negotiations would turn to keeping Raimi onboard as a producer only. “I would still hope that Sony would offer it to me [to direct] first,” he said. “But that is not my place to say; it would be more about if Sony decided not to go with me. If not, it would be really up to them to come to a solution [for me to still be involved as a producer].”

Either way, if this tangled web does still involve the filmmaker, Raimi has been busy brainstorming about the villains he’d like to get into the next flick. “I would love to see Electro, Vulture, maybe the Sinister Six as a team,” he said.

Over at the Motley Fool, analyst Rick Munarriz frets about Marvel’s move to producing its own movies:

I hate to pick on Marvel (NYSE: MVL), but the disappointing box-office receipts for both Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer have to be troubling for a company that’s about to start rolling out its own action flicks. Disappointing? You think I’m insane, right? After all, Spider-Man 3 smashed the all-time opening weekend record for a theatrical release. The F4 sequel wasn’t as highly anticipated, yet it managed to narrowly beat its predecessor in ticket sales during its first weekend at the multiplex.

Munarriz goes on to argue that the swift box-office declines of these films spelled disappointment, and thinks superheros aren’t as reliable as they used to be. Surely, Marvel’s production path is fraught with peril, but IRON MAN looks pretty solid with a competent director (Favreau) and A-list cast. EVERYTHING drops off at the box office now, as the opening weekend sweepstakes and flood of sequels make it an all-or-nothing race to Monday morning. Still, America’s, nay the world’s love affair with the panties and capes bunch is sure to wax and wane. Marvel could get caught in some freakish mix of circumstances and lose the movie rights to ANT-MAN forever. A lot will happen between now and 2010.


  1. here is the trick: write a brilliant screenplay and dont rely on a ton of special effects. keep those ONLY for key scenes.
    also, try new and up coming actors in these parts so we can relate to the characters easier. these superstar superheroes arent helping the cost as well.
    we love the superheroes for the drama first.

  2. Spidey 3 is now the tenth highest-grossing film of all-time, worldwide. How can that be a disappointment? This is mystifying to me. It’s the highest grossing-film of the year so far. It’s outgrossed certain Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings installments. I’ll take disappointment like that any day if I was Sony.

  3. Eric –

    I’m sorry to say that you are believing the hype, and so far all of the “big” blockbuster movies this summer look like they are going to be losing money at the theatre. What you have to keep in mind is that – depending on the contract between theatre chains and the distributors, only between 50-60 % (Lucas was once able to negotiate 75 % for the first two weekends, which caused quite a ruckus) of the box office revenue winds up with with the distributor.

    In the global territories, it is usually even less than that.

    Now, let’s say that Spiderman 3 cost approximately $ 250M to produce and market domestically… and this is a pars pro totem analysis… the film would have to roll in at least $ 550M to $ 600M to break even.

    Now, obviously, it is a bit more complicated than that, because one will have to include the global territories, the ancillary DVD revenues (where most of the profit in the past couple of years was made, but due to downloading and the saturation of the DVD market globally is levelling off as well) and the licensing revenue will have to be factored in as well… and unfortunately, nobody would give me those stats to make a proper calculation, but…

    … just looking at the theatre revenue of both Spiderman 3 and also POTC 3, it is clear that their ballooning budgets make it absolutely necessary to each gross approximately 800M to 900M globally for them to come out of the first-run market with a black zero. That is not going to happen, for neither of those films.

    In the long run, Sony (and Disney) might obtain a profit of about 50-70M on each film, through the other revenue streams, but that is a big, very big gamble they are pulling there, which is one of the reason they are spinning the numbers of the first weekend in such a way that they invite the assumption those films are “de bomb” when it fact they are just “bombing” on a massive, unbelievable scale.

    One e.g. has to keep in mind that New Line and Peter Jackson made the ENTIRE Lord of the Rings triolgy for approximately $ 250M (marketing etc. included), which was the budget for THREE films, all of which were successful and profitable on their own cost-benefit ratio scale and allowed for FURTHER revenue by bringing forth Special Editions on DVD that merited the title and allowed for further revenue stream by being able to tell the customer: here, we give you a much bigger product.

    Like I said, don’t believe the hype and don’t project a first weekend in a linear fashion…

  4. … just looking at the theatre revenue of both Spiderman 3 and also POTC 3, it is clear that their ballooning budgets make it absolutely necessary to each gross approximately 800M to 900M globally for them to come out of the first-run market with a black zero. That is not going to happen, for neither of those films.

    Even assuming all your math work up there is correct, Spider-Man 3 has grossed 878 million internationally, and will probably rack up a little more before leaving theaters. I’m sorry, but factor in DVD sales and everything else, and the movie should be able to keep generating money for a while. I think it’s ridiculous to call it a box-office disappointment. It’s performed about as well as anybody could have reasonably expected it to.

  5. Patrick –

    If you read what I had to say, you would have noticed that I did make the point that – with a bit of luck – Sony and Disney will walk out of the theatre runs of their films with a black zero. The curve for both Spiderman 3 and POTC 3 was not just a slope down, it was crash and burn on a scale that has not be seen in box office markets so far for such high profile releases, down to a point where – according to Box Office Mojo – almost 46 percent of the entire box office for Spiderman 3 was made on the opening weekend.

    Fact is that for the past years the movie studios have made their profit virtually entirely on the DVD and TV licensing markets, and if you don’t want to believe me, then just check out

  6. Don’t know where you’re getting those numbers. As of the 21st, box office was somewhat over 331 million. It hasn’t been released internationally yet. It’ll be great if it makes big money overseas but right now this doesn’t look like it’s going to be a smashing success.

  7. I have no idea where “matterconsumer” got the idea that Spider-Man 3 hasn’t been released internationally. It had a nearly simultaneous worldwide release.

  8. Maybe those films had bad second weeks because they were bad films? I imagine word of mouth on those would put off alot of casual cinema goers

  9. The international box office numbers at Variety were listed as 0 which obviously was an error. Sorry.

    Still the international box office tally while not terrible is not inspiring. Especially when one considers how much ticket prices have increased since the last two films.

  10. BLADE 1 and 2,FF2,HELLBOY,and the 2 LORD OF THE RINGS movies are proof that you don’t need a huge budget to make an action packed superhero/sci-fi/fantasy movie with lots of cool looking specialm effects. It’s not the size of the budget, but how you use it.

  11. agree with wraith. I left both pirates and spiderman 3 wishing i went to see something else. my word of mouth and the word of mouth of the public has a ton of power and can destroy a film more than critics reviews.

    man, look at some of the best films of the year…not grossing, but quality and they arent specil effect monsters. a superhero film CAN and must be made cheaper to survive. story first.

    went to see f.f. 2, and again, lots of noise andI left feeling empty. the story had so many holes in it… but what would it have taken to make that a tighter script, dump the nonsense [ things were exploding and crashing every few minutes] and made it still dynamic?


  12. FF 2 needed the Wachowski brothers. Or Cameron.

    Raimi made a few bad choices but evidently it wasn’t all his idea. If he’d been able to stick with just the Sandman it would have been much better. Or Venom. But not both together.

    And drop the twist (dance routine) and the flag posing.

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