Hot on the heelsof the news of Spider-Man's uncontestable box office dominance,Sony Pictures and Marvel have released twin statements touting the web-slingerand other upcoming projects.
Sony announcedthat the unprecedented reaction to Spider-Man will indeed have Spider-Man2 filming early next year shooting for a May 7, 2004 release.
MarvelEnterprises CEO Peter Cuneo announced that it has received a substantial, sevenfigure advance for the sequel.
"We saidlast week that the Spider-Man movie would usher in the Golden Ageof Marvel. While we had great confidence in the potential of the Spider-Manmotion picture, no one could have predicted the remarkable, record-breakingsuccess the film has achieved in its opening weekend. We are extremely gratefulfor the creative achievement of our own Avi Arad, executive producer of thefilm, director Sam Raimi, producer Laura Ziskin, and the many extraordinarytalents who contributed to the film," said Cuneo. "As the head ofMarvel Studios, Avi Arad has always believed that our characters would beHollywood celebrities and it is his pursuit and realization of this dream thathas made this day so special. We are also very grateful to the many executivesat Sony/Columbia Pictures for their dedication in bringing one of our premierecharacters to life, and executing a superb, record-setting marketingstrategy."
Sony now fixesSpidey's opening weekend receipts at a whopping $114,844,116. Therecord-breaking debut earned a per screen average of $31,769 and shattered anumber of industry benchmarks including:
"It took asuperhero to deliver these historic numbers," Jeff Blake, President ofWorldwide Marketing and Distribution for Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Groupsaid. "The magnitude of this achievement is staggering by every standardand Spider-Man's success is a wonderful tribute to a characterthat has meant so much to so many people for the past forty years. The cast andfilmmakers were dedicated to Stan Lee's imaginative vision, and Sam Raimi, TobeyMaguire and Kirsten Dunst deserve our thanks and all the credit for bringing Spider-Manto life in such a magnificent, memorable and exciting way."
Marvel willcontinue to reap the benefits of the Spider-Man movie as thecompany has a gross participation from dollar one in the box office as well asearns revenue from the DVD sales and the pay-per-view, cable and networktelevision deals. The company also generates revenue from the licensing andmerchandising of the movie -- including the brisk-selling toys, action figuresand accessories from the company's internal toy division, Toy Biz.
Marvel points toa slate of projects, at various stages of development, that will continue thecompany's big-screen success. The Hulk and Daredevilare currently filming, with recent Hulk teaser already generatingexcitement. X-Men 2 is slated to go into production on June firstwith a targeted release date of May 2003. Blade 3 is also on thehorizon.
AdditionalMarvel franchises scheduled to get the big screen treatment include: Sub-Mariner(Universal), Ghost Rider (Sony), Fantastic Four(Fox), Dr. Strange (Dimension), Iron Man (New Line),Prime (Universal), and from Artisan Punisher and IronFist.