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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Right now, Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are on top of the damn world. After 18 films, the franchise has taken in a ridiculous $13.5 billion (with a B) worldwide. Sure, given the $3.5 billion in budgets — not to mention all the budgets, that’s likely only around $7 billion in profits, that’s still a hefty sum, and more than makes up for the $4 billion Disney spent on buying all of Marvel Entertainment.

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Even beyond the finances, Marvel has managed to create the first thriving cinematic universe, one that’s as respected as it is popular. With all that in mind, it’s hard to imagine how different things were 20 short years ago. Wall Street Journal contributor Ben Fritz recently took to Twitter to share an excerpt from his upcoming book, The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies, and it chronicles a very desperate Marvel fighting for survival.

While we can imagine just how frustrating the situation is (it pretty much explains why Perlmutter was so cheap with the MCU movies early on), we can pretty much give huge thanks to Sony’s hubris. Had they not been such d**ks about the whole thing back in 1998, the MCU may never have existed.

Sure, Sony may have utilized some of these characters, but would they have been as respectful as Marvel Studios? Furthermore, would they have had the guts to actually slowly assemble a shared universe? We’ve already seen their attempts to do so with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and it ain’t fantastic. While things seemingly turned out for the best, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been had Sony accepted that offer…

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SOURCE: Ben Fritz

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.