But what really sticks?
Years ago, the two studios agreed on the bright idea of adding Sony’s Spider-Man character to Disney’s Marvel Studios “Avengers” franchise. Bulking up the Avengers’ cadre of super-heroes turned out to be a nice cross-studio theatrical effort for both companies.
In turn, Sony also benefited when producing its own movies under the "Spider-Man" franchise. For example, this year’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” has been the fifth-best U.S. film with $378 million in box-office revenue.
Disney has done even better with its “Avengers” franchise. It took in $858.2 million for this year’s “Avengers: Endgame” film, the top film of the year to date.
It wasn’t always this way. "Spider-Man" movies in 2012 and 2014 were deemed in need of a refresh. Then Kevin Feige, Disney’s Marvel Studios president, had the idea of sharing the Spider-Man character in the “Avengers” movies.
You can imagine Sony was thankful for that. But up to a point.
For its part, Disney now feels it deserves more — especially when it comes to much improved box-office revenue results for Sony produced "Spider-Man" movies.
The current deal only gives Disney a 5% box-office piece of those Sony-produced movies. Now, according to reports, Disney wants a big 50-50 split of those forthcoming Sony-produced “Spider-Man” movies.
Sony, according to reports, says no way. The two appear to be going their separate ways. The overview here is that all studios want to maximize their IP — or what they believe, in part, they are responsible for increasing in value.
Now let’s talk about TV. Selling the rerun rights to Netflix for popular TV shows — NBCUniversal’s “The Office” and WarnerMedia’s “Friends” — falls into a similar category.
Deals made for those comedies were struck year ago. But the growth and dominance of Netflix is now an issue — especially as both comedies have higher viewership at the subscription VOD service.
NBCU and WarnerMedia now want to keep their most-prized TV properties closer to home base — especially since they are starting new direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming services. For its part, Netflix might say: “Hey, we helped keep your old comedies popular. What do we get?”
No matter. Future valued entertainment assets for major media companies will continue to have a short leash when it comes to a new era of D2C entertainment businesses of all types.
Like Spider-Man, the hope is to find some large stickiness when it comes to swinging from one entertainment business to another.