In a somewhat surprising development, Sony announced Wednesday (Comic-Con eve) they are pushing back the previously-announced release of Amazing Spider-Man 3 by two years, from June 10, 2016 to an unspecified 2018 date. The unspecified date is interesting in of itself as Sony had previously claimed May 4, 2018 for the release of Amazing Spider-Man 4.
That fourth installment will obviously be pushed back at least a couple of years as well.
But 2016 won’t be Spider-verse free. The studio also announced they’ve scheduled writer-director Drew Goddard’s Spider-Man spin-off, The Sinister Six, for Nov. 11, 2016.
The moves could simply be production necessities, although given the somewhat underwhelming performance of his year’s Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony may simply be buying some breathing room in-between sequels to build up fan anticipation for a third installment.
While Amazing Spider-Man 2 performed a hair better in foreign territories compared to the 2012 franchise reboot, it performed significantly worse domestically ($202m to-date compared to $262m). That’s the wrong direction to be going when trying to launch an expanded universe of films based on the property. It’s lackluster reviews/reception certainly contributed, but perhaps Sony feels the two-year period between films was too little.
The November date for The Sinister Six might also suggest more modest expectation for the spin-off, as opposed to a $200m-plus summer tentpole in the wake of Amazing Spider-Man 2's performance.
Sony hasn’t given up the prime June 10, 2016 real estate, however. They’ve moved the release of the PlayStation videogame adaptation Uncharted, directed by Seth Gordon, into the slot.