In June 2013, while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was still filming, Sony set release dates for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10, 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 on May 4, 2018.
Since rebooting the franchise in 2012, the first movie in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise earned just over $757 million worldwide ($495 million of that was done overseas). A solid tally for the reboot which was then green lit for a sequel. This past May, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 released and has made $704 million worldwide, so far ($502 million of that is from overseas ticket sales).
So what's the point?
Well, the point is that Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man franchise seems to not be performing as well as Sony would have liked it to, since the reboot. Neither of these past two Spidey movies have been able to outperform any one of director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy films.
Things could be bad for Sony even though we are still talking about profitable Spider-Man movies. However, these last two films may have caused Sony to rethink their plans for the Spidey movie universe.
In a recent interview with IGN, former Spidey reboot co-writer Roberto Orci says he has no clue what the future holds for the franchise.
“I don’t know what their plans are for that franchise. I don’t ever want to say never, but we have to figure out what their scheduling is in terms of when they want each movie. I’ve read probably as much as anyone else. There’s a love for the Sinister Six, the idea of Venom — there’s an idea Spider-Man’s going to be one of these characters that’s part of our business. He’s such a popular character. Spider-Man’s not going to go away any time soon. When it all happens and how and all that has yet to be determined.”
Yet to be determined? Seems strange seeing as how Sony has future dates staked out for Spidey sequels and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 needs to begin filming in the first half of 2015 to stay on schedule. About a week ago a rumor hit the web claiming The Amazing Spider-Man 3 may get pushed back from a 2016 release to a 2017 release. This would also cause the fourth Spidey film to be pushed back from 2018 to 2019. Unless Sony plans on filming the third and fourth movies back-to-back but the uncertainty of actor Andrew Garfield returning after the threequel puts that theory to the test.
Currently, Sony is developing the Spider-Man villain team-up spin-off movie Sinister Six and some reports imply it could be fast-tracked to begin filming as soon as early 2015. This would definitely allow Sony to releaser Sinister Six in 2016 and the studio may be eyeing up that May 2016 date set aside for the threequel. Sony has not confirmed anything but Comic-Con International is less than two weeks away and if a Spider-Man movie release schedule change is coming, that is the event to announce it at.
Finally, one of The Daily SuperHero's insiders has told me there's a "high probability" Sony has changed (or is changing) their release schedule for all-things Spider-Man and Sinister Six may move into the June 10, 2016 release date slot in order to build-up Spider-Man's villains before The Amazing Spider-Man 3 hits theaters.