Sony’s Hard Spider-Man Lessons

Celeste O'Connor, Sydney Sweeney, Dakota Johnson and Isabela Merced
Madame Web lacked the one requirement of a superhero spinoff—it was only tenuously connected to a franchise. Photo: Lionel Hahn/WireImage
Scott Mendelson
February 18, 2024

Madame Web, which has grossed merely $25.5 million this six-day weekend, isn’t the first big-deal superhero movie to tank at the box office. But the film’s critical and commercial rejection should be the final nail in the coffin for Sony’s failed attempt to fashion a cinematic universe entirely around Spider-Man, more than 20 years after Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.

We’ve had four already-released live-action spinoffs and two more set to open in 2024. In some ways, in fact, Madame Web is arguably the definitive example of every wrong lesson Hollywood (in general) and Sony (in particular) absorbed from The Avengers. And once Venom 3 and Kraven: The Hunter finish their theatrical runs later this year, it’s time for Sony to move on.