Marvel has actually made 100% of the money off of merchandise for a while in the Sony-Marvel agreement. They've never been shy about promoting the movies via merch or issuing action figures and what not.
The catch is they only get a royalty fee for the movies. Admittedly it is still probably agood chunk of change with none of the risk of actually making the movie, but still.
Though I don't know if Spidey is always going to be the hottest hero. If my anecdotal comic con attendence is anything to go by, I saw a lot of Deadpools. Even fairly young ones.