Page 1 of 2

Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:57 am
by Leckomaniac
Read the story here!

Wow. Did not see this coming.

Thoughts? Concerns?

I, for one, would love to see PIXAR get their hands on the MARVEL characters. Not to mention some sweet ass MARVEL rides at Disney World.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:04 pm
by BuckyO'harre
Scared and excited at the same time.

UPDATE #1: In a conference call, the companies said that the deals for movies for characters at other studios (Spider-Man, X-Men, etc.) will stay in place under the terms set by Marvel and the other studios.

UPDATE #2: John Lasseter met with Marvel last week about a possible team-up between Marvel and Pixar and got "pretty excited, pretty fast." They say there's definitely an opportunity there.

UPDATE #3: The deal with Paramount Pictures to distribute "Iron Man 2," "Thor," "Captain America" and "The Avengers" stays in place as well, but Disney would like to self-distribute down the line. "When the time comes we'll take a closer look at it." It was actually stated that the deal still included five films, so that is one more film after "The Avengers."


Source.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:05 pm
by RogueScribner
So I get how the current distribution deals will remain in place, but what does this mean for Universal Studios Islands of Adventure? They have an entire island devoted to Marvel Superhero attractions (Spider-man ride, Hulk coaster, X-Men spinning ride, Dr. Doom Fear Fall) plus all the themed shops and restaurants. It'd be weird to imagine Disney licensing product to a competitor. Good thing Universal built Harry Potter island!

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:09 pm
by Leckomaniac
The thing that really excites me is the cross-platform possibilities.

I mean, Disney owns ABC...so maybe a primetime tv show starring Marvel characters?

How about a PIXAR RUNAWAYS movie?

The possibility of selling Marvel comic books at all Disney retail stores?

I don't read MARVEL books anymore, but they have to be feeling really good about all of this. Now, we just need to see how much freedom the publishing side will get.

EDIT: Also, didn't PIXAR/DISNEY just sell their comic book rights to BOOM! studios? I wonder how long that deal is going to last?

What a tangled web of possibility (and disaster) this seems to be.

EDIT2: Rich over at bleeding cool has some interesting thoughts including the reminded that just 5 years ago, Disney was SUING Marvel. How quickly things change, eh?

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:16 pm
by RogueScribner
I doubt you'll see comic books flooding all the Disney stores. They might have some titles that match a current or upcoming movie release title, but there isn't going to be a whole comic book section (or even shelf). People who shop at Disney stores aren't looking for Marvel stuff. They're looking for fairy tale and plush items.

What I want to know is if Princess Python is now a Disney Princess? :-P

Re: Disney Buys Marvel for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:27 pm
by Fievel
BuckyO'harre wrote:Scared and excited at the same time.



...and that just about sums it up for me!!

Re: Disney Buys Marvel for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:05 pm
by Lord Voldemoo
Fievel wrote:
BuckyO'harre wrote:Scared and excited at the same time.



...and that just about sums it up for me!!


me too.

And I agree 100% with Lecko about the excitement about the cross-platform possibilities.

But this is such an amazingly huge shift...I can't help but have some trepidation.

I WANT AN IRON MAN RIDE AT DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!!

Re: Disney Buys Marvel for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:20 pm
by RogueScribner
Lord Voldemoo wrote:
Fievel wrote:
BuckyO'harre wrote:Scared and excited at the same time.



...and that just about sums it up for me!!


me too.

And I agree 100% with Lecko about the excitement about the cross-platform possibilities.

But this is such an amazingly huge shift...I can't help but have some trepidation.

I WANT AN IRON MAN RIDE AT DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!!



See, that's what confuses me. Right now, Universal has Marvel attractions. I seriously doubt they had it in their contract that Marvel was still free to license out other attractions to other theme parks. So there won't be an Iron Man ride at Disney as long as Universal still has their Marvel Superhero Island. And losing 1/5 of your attractions in a theme park due to a licensing deal would be a huge blow to Universal. So I imagine that they're going to do everything they can to hold onto it or figure out a way to rebrand it. That'd work for the rollercoaster, the tea cup ride, and the tower ride. But Spider-man can only be a Spider-man ride so they'd have to scrap that ride completely.

It'll be interesting to see what happens. If Marvel stays in control of its own property like they're saying, then I don't foresee any theme park changes occurring anytime soon.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:34 pm
by Retardo_Montalban
I don't care much for theme park rides, especially themed theme park rides, so this news seems win win for me. I would love to see Pixar get their hands on some Marvel stories.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:02 pm
by King Psyz
this is huge, I think it might really help turn Marvel around.

Imagine the mashups that are now possible though. Fantastic Four meets The Incredibles! Kingdom Hearts 3 with a Marvel Universe world! Little Nemo meets Namor the SubMariner?! Spider Man meets the Computer that wore tennis shoes? Doug/Warlock meets Tron?!


DONALD DUCK VERSUS HOWARD THE DUCK?!

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:27 pm
by RogueScribner
Retardo, you don't know what you're missing. The Spider-man ride at Universal Orlando is one of the best, if not THE best, theme park rides I've ever been on.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
by The Vicar
Didn't see this coming either, but I can see the possibilities.
Trying not to get too excited about it, as the chance that this could end up a disaster remains.
But still.......

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:28 pm
by Retardo_Montalban
RogueScribner wrote:Retardo, you don't know what you're missing. The Spider-man ride at Universal Orlando is one of the best, if not THE best, theme park rides I've ever been on.


I don't even know what the spider-man ride is. Is there any nudity?

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:31 pm
by The Vicar
Retardo_Montalban wrote:
RogueScribner wrote:Retardo, you don't know what you're missing. The Spider-man ride at Universal Orlando is one of the best, if not THE best, theme park rides I've ever been on.


I don't even know what the spider-man ride is. Is there any nudity?


Yeah. J Jonah Jameson.

Feel better?

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:34 pm
by Retardo_Montalban
The Vicar wrote:
Retardo_Montalban wrote:
RogueScribner wrote:Retardo, you don't know what you're missing. The Spider-man ride at Universal Orlando is one of the best, if not THE best, theme park rides I've ever been on.


I don't even know what the spider-man ride is. Is there any nudity?


Yeah. J Jonah Jameson.

Feel better?


J Jonah can do a lot with that cigar, so yes.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:03 pm
by King Psyz
Image
APPROVES

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:47 pm
by Fried Gold
That's a farking huge acquisition for such times. It seems a bit overpriced, although I guess they're paying mainly for assets.

Is there anything Disney or TimeWarner doesn't own now?

Disney's IGER May Be A Genius! (Now w/ 100% More Marvel)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:04 pm
by TheButcher
From /film:
What the Disney/Marvel Deal Means: Will Pixar Develop Marvel Superhero Films?
There are still existing deals in which other studios hold the big screen rights to certain characters.

But after those deals expire, Disney “want[s] to be sole distributor of these films.”

On the possibility of Pixar developing a future Marvel films? “We’ve talked about this internally. Pixar boss John Lasseter talked to the Marvel guys about this and they all got excited about it. We think there’s ultimately some exciting product that come of that. Sparks will fly!” Sounds like Lasseter is very interested at the possibility.




Disney To Acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion




From AICN:
RE-UPDATE!! Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, And Friends Have All Been Owned By Mickey Mouse!!





From The New York Times:
Disney to Buy Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion


Walt Disney Company said Monday it had agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment, the company that owns the rights to such popular characters as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, in a cash and stock deal it valued at $4 billion. The deal, which boards of directors at both companies have approved, comes more than 10 years after Marvel was at the center of a bitter takeover battle between two feisty financiers.

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the deal.

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s chief executive officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

Under the terms of the deal, Disney will pay $30 a share in cash and 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share, with Disney stock accounting for no less than 40 percent of the deal value. Disney valued the deal at $50 per Marvel share, based on the companies’ closing share prices on Friday.

Shareholders at Marvel will need to approve the transaction.

Marvel Entertainment began in 1939 as a comic book company called Timely Publications. It has since become one of the largest character-based franchises in the world, with a proprietary library of over 5,000 characters including The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, The Avengers and the X-Men.

Ronald O. Perelman acquired Marvel in 1989, but the company filed for bankruptcy protection seven years later, setting off a drawn-out takeover feud between him and a group of bondholders led by Carl C. Icahn. In the end, Mr. Perlmutter gained control of Marvel through his company, Toy Biz, and Mr. Perlmutter owns about 37 percent of Marvel’s stock, according to Marvel’s latest annual filing with regulators.

Mr. Perlmutter will continue to oversee the Marvel properties after the acquisition, Disney said.

Marvel now has three main divisions: a licensing arm, which sells the right for other companies to use their proprietary characters in movies and promotions; a publishing arm, which makes the comics and books based on their characters; and a film production unit, which makes movies for some of their characters.

The film production unit is a relatively new venture for Marvel. The company originally licensed its characters to the big movie studios, but beginning in 2005, Marvel entered the movie-making business with the construction of a $525 million film facility.

The first two movies Marvel produced were “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” in the summer of 2008. The company is currently developing four films for release in 2010 and 2011: “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “The First Avenger: Captain America” and “The Avengers.”

Marvel was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Monday’s transaction.

The acquisition comes as Disney, with its vast theme park operations and television advertising business, has been struggling because soft advertising sales at ABC and ESPN and drooping consumer spending at Disney World. Disney’s profit in the third quarter dropped 26 percent.

Over all, Disney’s net income fell to $954 million, or 51 cents a share, from $1.28 billion, or 66 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 7 percent, to $8.6 billion. Earnings per share for the current quarter included a one-cent restructuring charge related to an accounting gain. Excluding that charge, Disney narrowly beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Re: Disney's IGER may be a genius. Now with more Marvel

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:21 pm
by Fievel

Re: Disney's IGER may be a genius. Now with more Marvel

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:23 pm
by TheButcher
I didn't see that thread. sorry

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:12 am
by bastard_robo
Image

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:38 am
by Al Shut
King Psyz wrote: Kingdom Hearts 3 with a Marvel Universe world!


Now that's something I'd pay money for.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:15 am
by TonyWilson
So yeh, Pixar Avengers movie directed by Brad Bird.
Make it so.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:30 am
by Fried Gold
TonyWilson wrote:So yeh, Pixar Avengers movie directed by Brad Bird.
Make it so.

With John Ratzenberger as Ant-Man.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:58 am
by Leckomaniac
I want Brad Bird to handle Captain America in some capacity.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:33 pm
by Tyrone_Shoelaces
Leckomaniac wrote:I want Brad Bird to handle Captain America in some capacity.

That's a very specific request but I'm sure there's a magazine for it.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:54 pm
by The Vicar
Retardo_Montalban wrote:
The Vicar wrote:
Retardo_Montalban wrote:
RogueScribner wrote:Retardo, you don't know what you're missing. The Spider-man ride at Universal Orlando is one of the best, if not THE best, theme park rides I've ever been on.


I don't even know what the spider-man ride is. Is there any nudity?


Yeah. J Jonah Jameson.

Feel better?


J Jonah can do a lot with that cigar, so yes.


So could Bill Clinton, and look how that one ended......

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:45 pm
by Fried Gold
Leckomaniac wrote:I want Brad Bird to handle Captain America in some capacity.

With John Ratzenberger as Bucky.

Re: Disney's IGER May Be A Genius! (Now w/ 100% More Marvel)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:26 pm
by burlivesleftnut
I just don't know what to make of this news. In my best hopes, Disney doesn't mess with the comics. Marvel gets to continue on telling stories they way they have for decades. And Marvel Studios is given a loose rein to adapt its comic material into film. Along side that, Pixar can get their hands on some fun characters that might never make it in a live action movie (Power Pack? Runaways? Machine Man?). In my worst fears, I see Disney neutering Marvel storytelling and using the characters to make a bunch of crap that no one wants to see ( a la witch mountain).

Re: Disney's IGER may be a genius. Now with more Marvel

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:27 pm
by burlivesleftnut


Well this actually deserves its own movie news thread since Marvel straddles both comics and movies.

Re: Disney's IGER May Be A Genius! (Now w/ 100% More Marvel)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:40 am
by RogueScribner
The threads should be merged. We don't need two threads discussing the exact same topic. I would support a move to the movie news area since, as you said, this covers both comics and movies and Disney is largely in the business of making filmed entertainment, not publishing.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:57 am
by Tyrone_Shoelaces
I don't think this deal is going to affect Marvel very much, especially if its true they will remain rather autonomous. There won't be much happening in the near term anyway, with the possible exception of the publishing side. A few years down the road is when the movie stuff could get interesting. I'm willing to bet Disney is going to be a bit aggressive in getting back the characters that are set up at other studios, particularly Spidey and X-Men. There's too much money out there for them to just sit back and collect a license fee and hope the movie doesn't destroy the fans' goodwill; definitely be some co-producing deals anyway. I was a bit surprised that Marvel took the deal, actually. After years of being in court and flirting with bankruptcy they were finally on decent footing and in control of their own destiny for once. I don't think their future is any less bright because this deal certainly opens up some new avenues for Marvel. It will certainly be interesting to see what develops, especially where Pixar fits into it all. What I really want to know, though, is since they're all under one roof now, when do I get to see the New Fantastic Four of Mickey, Kermit, Remy, and Spider-Man? Buzz Lightyear and The Starjammers? Jean Grey and The Seven Dwarfs? Wolverine Vs. Goofy?

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:35 am
by RogueScribner
By all accounts, Fox has a perpetual hold on the rights to X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil as long as they keep making movies. Sony, from what I've read, has a similar deal with Spider-man. I wouldn't expect to see the Disney banner in front of those titles anytime soon.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:59 pm
by Fried Gold
RogueScribner wrote:By all accounts, Fox has a perpetual hold on the rights to X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil as long as they keep making movies. Sony, from what I've read, has a similar deal with Spider-man. I wouldn't expect to see the Disney banner in front of those titles anytime soon.


...comic snippets flick past....MARVEL (A Disney company)

Re: Disney's IGER May Be A Genius! (Now w/ 100% More Marvel)

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:15 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety:
Disney/Marvel: A hero sandwich
MARC GRASER wrote:Lasseter's toon team is said to be especially excited over the Marvel buy, with its animators already scouring the company's library, identifying characters it can turn into movies, TV shows and direct-to-DVD releases.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:40 pm
by Ribbons
Alright, since it seemed to me like we were starting to play dueling threads, I figured I would merge the two together. I know Marvel and Disney straddle both the comic and film world, but there's bound to be some overlapping discussion in either case, and it seems like a big enough event to deserve its own place to discuss it (as opposed to a footnote in a thread about Robert Iger).

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:33 pm
by TheButcher
RogueScribner wrote:By all accounts, Fox has a perpetual hold on the rights to X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil as long as they keep making movies. Sony, from what I've read, has a similar deal with Spider-man. I wouldn't expect to see the Disney banner in front of those titles anytime soon.

Disney will still make money from those movies.

Marc Graser wrote:Although Disney won't be able to make movies around Marvel's higher-profile characters or even integrate them into its theme parks -- they're set up at other studios and at Universal's parks for many years to come -- the Mouse House will still be able to capitalize on their success. Marvel collects a percentage of all revenues generated from films featuring the characters, which will now go into Disney's coffers. Marvel expects to post profits of around $100 million this year.Marvel may only have made $110 million from the $2.9 billion generated by the first three "Spider-Man" films, but Marvel has a sweeter deal for its next five pics -- the next two "Iron Man" films, "Thor," "The First Avenger: Captain America" and "The Avengers. Those films will be released through Paramount, but the studio only collects a distribution fee of around 8%.

Source: Variety


From the Blue Sky Disney blog:
Brand Confusion/Collusion...
Honor Hunter wrote:The television rights to those characters aren't included. So you think the company won't be planning on television series based on Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, Reed Richards and Wolvie? I bet ABC has some form of a show on within two years. Maybe it'll be something to dampen Fox's "X-Men: First Class." Perhaps a "New Mutants" television show following a new class of Professor Xavier's students. Maybe a show following Daredevil? That right there might dilute the competitions desire for a sequel if characters they're planning on investing millions of dollars in are seen weekly on television. Who knows? I'm sure over the next year or so, the Suits at Disney and Marvel will go over all these characters to determine what will be the first property to get a television show or movie.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:00 am
by Tyrone_Shoelaces
RogueScribner wrote:By all accounts, Fox has a perpetual hold on the rights to X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil as long as they keep making movies. Sony, from what I've read, has a similar deal with Spider-man. I wouldn't expect to see the Disney banner in front of those titles anytime soon.

I wouldn't say perpetual but I'm sure the deal is quite lengthy. Last I heard Fox had to have an X movie in active development by some time in 2010 or the rights expire. Since Rothman has someone typing away on First Class right now I'm sure that's not going to happen. On that magic date in 2010 Fox will wave receipts showing they are working on it and the deal will extend to some other pre-determined future date. I would hazard a guess at similar arrangements with the other characters. Sony just renewed their rights on Spider-Man sometime in the last year, which would make it about 8 years since they picked them up. I would make another guess the extension is for the same amount of time. However, scuttlebutt is that Sony just gave up the TV rights to Spidey in exchange for some concessions on the film rights. No idea what these concessions are but it could be a longer term for those rights or something like merchandising percentages or access to characters. That said, I don't expect to see the Disney banner in front of any of them for quite some time unless Disney is able to arrange some sweetheart co-producing deals on them. The Paramount deal has a few years left on it so it might be 2013 before there is a Disney produced Marvel movie in your local cineplex. (I'll bet a dozen donuts it will be Iron Man 3.)

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:39 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:09 pm
by Fried Gold

I thought "Disneyfication" meant "milking of as much profit as possible".

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:46 pm
by DennisMM
I think Marvel could teach Disney a few things about that. Three Deadpool titles?

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:52 pm
by Tyrone_Shoelaces

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:50 pm
by TheButcher
From Latino Review:
Marvel Prez to Head Disney?
ScarletScribe wrote:Blah blah blah, Disney buys Marvel. Blah blah blah Dick Cook, chariman of Disney Studios, resigns after nearly 40 years with the company. Blah blah blah, Kevin Feige of Marvel pegged as possible successor to Cook.

Wait, what?

Yes, it's true. In what could amount to a crazy coup d'etat that no one saw coming, Feige, the current president of Marvel Studios is rumored to be the next potential chairman of Disney Studios. According to Nikki Finke from Deadline Hollywood, "There's been a lot of talk that Marvel Studios [p]resident Kevin Feige spent a lot of time with Disney CEO Bob Iger during the dealmaking to buy the company, and Feige impressed the hell out of Iger."

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:27 am
by Fried Gold
So...Disney is now run by staff from Marvel and Pixar?

It seems in about a decade Disney has gone from Evil Corporation to being a company to be geeked out about.

I'm guessing the Disney shareholders owe a lot to Bob Iger.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:26 pm
by Tyrone_Shoelaces
Could be a coincidence, but maybe Disney bought Marvel so Steve Jobs could have some content for the rumored Apple tablet.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:54 pm
by TheButcher
From THR:
Disney sees superpowers in Marvel deal - Might need to dig deep into comic vault for new blockbusters

Associated Press wrote:Moviegoers have shown a willingness to be entangled by Spider-Man's web over and over again. Now, as Disney prepares to buy the comic-book powerhouse Marvel, it faces the question of whether fans will also get attached to characters as obscure as Ant-Man and Iron Fist.

The Walt Disney Co. is making a $4.2 billion bet that they will as it nears completion of its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment this week. The cash-and-stock deal brings those characters and thousands of others to an entertainment empire that already includes Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog and Hannah Montana.

Disney's biggest challenge will be to get enough people enthused about second-string superheroes to justify the price -- about $1.2 billion, or 40%, more than what Marvel's stock was worth when the deal was announced Aug. 31.

The high price means Disney will have to find new ways to earn revenue from Marvel -- perhaps by bringing Marvel-licensed toys to more store shelves around the world, and by digging deep into its comic vault for potential new blockbusters.

Although Disney is constrained by the fact that big-name Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man are already locked up in long-term deals with rival movie studios, Disney has had a history of successfully turning unknown talent such as Miley Cyrus, the actress behind "Hannah Montana," into multibillion-dollar enterprises.

"With Marvel, it's not just about 'Iron Man' and 'Hulk,' " Caris & Co. analyst David Miller said. "It's all about the other 5,000 characters that you and I don't even know about yet."

Disney shares are already being helped, having risen more than 20% since the deal was announced, partly on the hope for new character development and better use of Marvel heroes in movies, stores and theme parks.

Marvel shareholders are expected to give final approval to the offer on Thursday, with the closing of the deal to follow immediately.

The deal has already spawned a bout of speculation in the comic book world about who will be the next big Thing.

Possibilities include classics such as Ant-Man, the alter-ego of mad scientist Dr. Henry Pym, and Dr. Strange, the mystical go-to guy whenever there's an extradimensional threat. Both are connected to the Avengers line of characters that Marvel had started developing for the big screen long before Disney made the deal; Iron Man and the Hulk are among the Avengers that Marvel already has tapped.

There are about 5,000 more characters, including obscure ones such as martial arts master Iron Fist from the 1970s and up-and-coming ones such as the Runaways, a street-savvy pack of teenagers that have become a recent Marvel comic-book hit.

Whoever is the next comic book movie star, Marvel has a track record of success: its "Iron Man" movie took in $572 million at boxoffices worldwide despite the character once being a B-lister in the pantheon of superheroes.

"They picked the right one and they did it the right way," said Gareb Shamus, whose company Wizard Entertainment Group runs several of the Comic-Con fan conventions around the nation. "When you do that you've got a franchise that could last forever."

Through the deal, Marvel gains the ability to quickly reach more markets worldwide. Disney is by far the world's top licenser of its character brands, with $30 billion in retail sales in fiscal 2008, compared with fourth-place Marvel at $5.7 billion, according to License! Global magazine.

"It gives Marvel the opportunity to expand internationally and leverage the Disney retail relationships as well as their licensee relationships," said Tony Lisanti, the magazine's global editorial director.

Associated Press wrote:Marvel CEO Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, who owns 37% of Marvel stock, also secured himself the top job overseeing the Marvel business after the acquisition. That includes decisions on which characters are developed into movie stars.

Disney, which is based in Burbank and plans to keep Marvel's operations in New York, hasn't tipped its hand on what lesser-known characters it believes have the potential to leap off the printed page.

And there are some characters Disney says it is happy to let other movie studios keep developing, including Spider-Man at Sony Pictures and the X-Men and Fantastic Four at 20th Century Fox. Marvel earns royalties and a piece of the merchandising sales from those movies, and Disney soon will, too.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company may initially develop new characters on television rather than in movies. Its boy-focused cable channel, Disney XD, already airs 25 hours of Marvel cartoons every week and recently launched in Japan, as well as in several European and Latin American countries.

Television is where Disney incubated such hits as "Hannah Montana" and "High School Musical." Since their debut on cable TV's Disney Channel, the franchises have spawned movies, concerts and a cascade of related merchandise.

"Instead of making a $200 million movie and kind of betting the farm on one character, you can develop a television pilot, a television series," Iger told analysts this month.

Disney would benefit the most from new characters that Disney and Marvel develop together because the company would own the franchises outright instead of simply receiving licensing fees from the movies that Sony Corp. and News Corp.'s Fox produce on their own. Those deals last until Sony and Fox stop making the movies.

New characters could also be a boon for fans who are tiring of sequels.

Analysts note that when Disney does land a hit, it is quick to spread the success around to its other businesses.

That's why "Hannah Montana" and "High School Musical" have combined to sell billions of dollars in merchandise, and why "Cars" -- a product of Disney's purchase of Pixar -- is getting its own section at Disney's California Adventure theme park. Conversely, Pirates of the Caribbean was a theme park ride decades before it became a huge movie franchise.

"What Disney does better than anyone else is they leverage content across multiple platforms," Miller said. "When Disney has a hit film property, it uplifts and enhances all the other businesses."

Re: Disney vs Paramount

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:34 am
by TheButcher
From IESB:
Exclusive: Paramount Versus The House of Mouse

Jamie Williams wrote:So what's the big news? Apparently, there is nothing short of a tug of war going on between Disney and Paramount over the properties Par had already lined up and contractually committed to distribute with Marvel. Sadly, it appears that the Mouse may have found a loophole.

How certain are we of this? Certain Disney publicists have already been telling members of the press that Iron Man 3 will definitely be distributed and branded with the Walt Disney logo. Ask the lawyers for details.

Re: Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:03 am
by RogueScribner
Well that just seems shitty on Disney's part.

Ultimate Condorman!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:39 am
by TheButcher

Re: Ultimate Condorman!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:43 am
by thomasgaffney
TheButcher wrote:Oh yeah! I hope this happens!
From Newsarama:
What will the first Disney/Marvel comics project be? Stephen Wacker has a suggestion.


HA! I fucking LOVE Condorman!