They say all's fair in love and war - but in the movie biz, treachery can sometimes be the fairest of them all. When it comes to the world's biggest brands, and Hollywood's biggest budgets, this is all the more true.
Marvel, then, can hardly be blamed for doing whatever it takes to make their version of the Marvel screen universe, the MCU, into the industry leader in Marvel-related screen enterprises. The problem is, people won't stop loving those pesky mutants, Spider-men and Fantastic foursomes, and the rights to those heroes reside outside of Marvel Studios itself.
So, faced with such stiff competition, what do you do?
Well, if Rob Liefeld, possibly comicbookdom's most controversial figure, is to be believed, then you tear them apart from below, and you already began doing it years ago.
Speaking on Twitter (and subsequently edited for the sake of clarity), Liefeld revealed what is, if true, a plan as brilliant and dastardly as anything Doctor Doom has come up with over the past fifty years:
X-Men: Days of Future Past will match If not exceed The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s domestic box office, meaning lots of eyeballs, but there are no toy tie-ins. The Fox shut out is real.
It’s not money that matters in this strategy, it’s the hearts and minds of kids/toy buyers, not-too-subtly communicating what’s “important.”
Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 toys everywhere, X-Men – zippo. No promotions from toy aisles. Starve those properties. Makes X-Men [box office] comeback impressive!
No emotion in these facts/reporting, it’s just numbers and business. But the messages are clear.
X-Men: Days of Future Past toys would get in the way of upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy onslaught of toys.
Bottom line, it’s a ballsy move to downgrade properties with high profile, big budget support in favor of stuff you control wholesale. Gotta respect it. And equal respect to those properties slugging it out without equal support across multiple platforms.
You gotta understand, I love this stuff!! I love the business of comic films/brands and the unique situation Marvel has with their licenses.
My un-informed prediction: Sony will split producing/financing w/Marvel on next Spidey film and open door for inclusion in Avengers 3.
The gist of which is this: Marvel are, in Liefeld's telling, intentionally starving Fox of cross-platform support for their movies, so that the current generation of kids will grow up loving Iron Man and The Hulk more than Wolverine and the X-Men.
No word yet on whether there's a giant death ray involved somewhere - but the biggest question remains unanswered. What does this mean for Spider-Man, and his becoming a part of [The Avengers 3](movie:738027)? You can find out right here.
What do you guys think? Who's going to win this fight?