After 20th Century Fox, one of the largest production houses of Hollywood sold off its entire assets to Disney Studios and reduced the original Big Six of Hollywood to Big Five, another major production house is to follow suit. The Big Six of Hollywood were Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., Viacom, Fox, and Sony. With Fox out of the picture, they were reduced to five, hence the name. And now it looks like another major production house will reportedly sell off its assets in another ‘Media Deal of the Century’ to reduce the Big Five to the Big Four.
Sony Entertainment Studios could most certainly be the next target for a mass auction of its relative on-screen assets. Sony Corp’s Chief Kaz Hirai is about to step down and his successor Kenichiro Yoshida, who used to be the organization’s Chief Financial Officer is about to sit on the big chair. With Yoshida’s takeover, speculations are already rife that Sony is getting ready to sell its assets to another company…. maybe Disney??
The rumors off such an auction came to light only because of Sony’s peculiar Stock Movements in the Stock Market. After Hirai’s announcement of stepping down, Sony’s shares finished at 51.99 $ at Friday, a sharp 30% increase compared to previous terms. This increase may look like it is not a big deal but when put in contrast to the fact that the DOW fell by more than 660 points on the same term, it does catch everyone’s attention. A similar thing happened with the Disney-Fox Merger. Fox’s shares went up despite the market slowing down and in December the Disney Fox Deal was finalized. Yoshida’s new role certainly doesn’t guarantee there will be major changes to the company but it does paint one bleak yet pretty picture. The Company is looking to ‘grow its business.’ Whether it will be through acquisitions or via mergers with another company is still up for debate.
Hirai may be stepping down but he will still act as Chairman of Sony Corp. He will be responsible for offering Yoshida valuable advice in his new role as the Chairman of the Company when he takes over on April 1st. Hirai believed the Entertainment industry holds promise and was one of the pioneers of Sony Entertainment becoming the absolute beast within Hollywood it is today. Yoshida, unfortunately, does not share the same sentiment. Yoshida believes Sony is a Technology Company and should focus its resources as such. “All Major Companies in the World are Technology Companies” – His exact words. With Yoshida taking over, he could then sell of Sony’s Entertainment division and redirect the resources to Sony’s technological endeavors.
It is still uncertain whether Disney will try to buy back Spiderman, one of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes from Sony Entertainment. Believe it or not, Spiderman’s time in the MCU is limited. The deal certainly includes a limited time clause which will soon expire. Spiderman: Homecoming and the Sequel to the same could all one could ever hope for the Web-slinger within the MCU. But if Disney can buy back the rights from Sony, Spiderman is a done deal for Marvel. The Bad News is it might never happen. Disney already has its hands full with the Fox Merger. It is still awaiting approval for several of the Fox-Verse superheroes and figuring out a way to integrate them within the MCU. If they try to get on board the Sony auction, we believe it will be too much for someone even as mammoth as Disney Studios.
Right Now, Sony Entertainment’s and Spiderman’s future within Hollywood looks uncertain. But do not for a second think that the web-slinger may never find his way back home. Sony and Marvel’s deal, made in the early 2000’s, is also rumored to have come with a time clause (albeit a long one). So if Sony is not ready to sell back Spidey’s rights to the Mouse House or Disney is not ready to buy them back from Sony, they will naturally return to its parent company Marvel Studios. But something like that would happen only after a long, long time.
For now, all we can stay is hopeful. We want to see more of Spiderman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Make it happen, Disney. We don’t care what it takes!!!