May 27 -- Ending one of the long-term hangovers of its 1990s era of botched movie deals and ambiguous, quickly-reached contracts, Marvel Entertainment settled its disputes with Sony Pictures before litigation was enjoined. The settlement was announced in a joint statement to the press, with details to remain undisclosed.
The dispute was over Spider-Man licensing revenues and a deal signed in 1999 that allowed the companies to split such revenues according to "classic" and "movie" designations. Sony claimed Marvel was favoring non-movie licensing because of the better terms involved and was accounting for some of the other licensing in their favor. Marvel's counterargument included a claim that Sony undersold certain licensing rights for which it was responsible.
Marvel will consolidate the bulk of licensing ventures under its control, giving the company a more effective single platform through which to manage the character, control its image, and maximize profits. The deal includes not only the successful Spider-Man franchise but also future Marvel characters to be filmed by Sony like Ghost Rider and Luke Cage.