“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” —the second entry into the Andrew Garfield-starring reboot of the early 2000s franchise— didn’t swing to great heights this summer. Reviews were generally lukewarm and box office returns were far lower than what Sony brass had hoped for. The film opened with $91.6M and managed to cobble together close to $203M domestic (of a $708M global total), which might not seem so bad until you put it in perspective. Of recent superhero films, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” clocks in at 25th lifetime domestic gross —and that includes the 1989 Michael Keaton “Batman” at 17th. That $203M cumulative domestic haul also places the film dead last of the five Spider-Man flicks to hit theatres since Tobey Maguire first put on the spandex in 2002.
So what went wrong for the wall crawler? Perhaps the film was competing an over-saturated marketplace. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” kicked off the season in April with a domestic total just under $260M. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” opened three weeks after ‘Spider-Man’ and also went on to perform better in the long haul. Then to much surprise, “Guardians of the Galaxy” —a comparatively obscure Marvel property— came out of nowhere in August, raking in close to $300M domestically and landing a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But Garfield doesn’t seem to think films using Marvel characters from competing studios are to blame.
“I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it,” Garfield told The Daily Beast. “[But] once you start removing things and say, ‘no, that doesn’t work,’ then the thread is broken, and it’s hard to go with the flow of the story. Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio [has] the final say in those movies because they’re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people.”
Electro, Rhino, and the Green Goblin might not be able to stop Spider-Man, but studio heads can. Once again, Hollywood proves too many cooks in the kitchen can burn dinner, but it’s surprising for a leading man like Garfield to be so open about these problems.
In other web-slinger news, a half dozen of Spidey’s foes are scheduled to make a joint screen appearance on November 11, 2016 in director Drew Goddard’s (“Cabin in the Woods”) “Sinister Six.” While promoting his film “99 Homes” at the Toronto International Film Festival, Garfield expressed even more doubts about his role in the present ‘Spider-Man franchise. “I can say I’m really excited about Drew Goddard, who’s going to be writing and directing ‘The Sinister Six’ movie. And whether I’m involved in that or not is kind of immaterial,” he stated (via Comic Book Movie). Luckily, there’s plenty of time for Garfield and Goddard to figure it all out.
Lastly, fans who flocked to theaters in 2007 to watch their friendly neighborhood arachnid square off against Venom were largely disappointed by the under-utilized Topher Grace version of the villain. But it seems a new Venom film is in the works, and writer/producer Alex Kurtzman recently shared his thoughts with MTV on how to do that character justice on the big screen. “The idea…is that you can do things with Venom that you can’t do with Spider-Man.” He continued “Venom is the representation of every line that will get crossed… he’s a much darker character.” As long as there’s no “dark” jazz-hands-esque dance scene in the next film featuring Venom, we’ll be happy.