Originally Posted by fixxxer
A question to all... consider the following hypothetical:
Fox and Marvel studio head honchos find themselves trapped in a room as part of a 'good faith' negotiation. Secret Wars style, if you will.
Each must write a dollar amount on a piece of paper. If Fox's amount is smaller than Marvel's, everyone returns home to the status quo.
If Marvel's is greater than or equal to Fox's, Fox receives the sum they asked for plus half the difference between the two figures. Marvel receives to rights to the Fantastic Four and all associated properties. For example, if Fox's sheet reads $5 and Marvel's reads $7, then Fox goes home with $6 and Marvel gets to reboot FF into the MCU.
Now, my hypothetical question is, assuming the FF rights revert to Marvel, what is your estimate of the two dollar figures?
Hmm. On Fox's side, I suspect they'd ask for at least $50 million. That's about what the first Fantastic Four made in profit, roughly, and I can't see them wanting to make a big budget movie without the hopes of at least that much profit. Its also fully a third of what they'd spend on a movie, which in this case would also be zero risk. If they were willing to value the license much less than this, however, they'd probably have already made a deal to give it back.
On Marvel's side, by contrast, I can't see them offering more than about $25 million. If they get the rights back, they'd still have to pay to make a movie, and a FF movie would at least cost 150 to make. Whatever they paid here would effectively be added to that budget, and anything more than 25, and it would need to be an Iron Man level hit to make a profit, first time out. I can't see Marvel wanting that kind of risk. At 25 million, however, they could still break even with even Captain America level success, and future usage of various supporting characters would justify some of the cost on its own.
As you can see, I'm not optimistic even in your hypothetical scenario. Fox wants money or assets equivalent to a successful movie, or else they figure they'll just go and make the movie and make at least as much there. Marvel just isn't going to pay that much, not for something that is hardly guaranteed to make money.