Are you a Marvel or a Disney?

Posted by truecreek on September 1, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

By Joseph Young

So are you a Marvel, or a Disney? The more and more I think about it, I’m a Marvel guy.  Just can’t get enough of Iron Man.  My wife Lin, is a Disney, without a doubt.

The acquisition of Marvel Entertainment by The Walt Disney Company was announced yesterday to great fanfare.  It was just all over the map.  You have to congratulate the PR folks.  The whole introduction was very well done.

To think:  the amount of collective creative talent that will be put in place upon the completion of this deal will be just incredible.

But is the deal weak?  From today’s news, consider this:

  • Sony Corp.’s Columbia Pictures is developing the next three “Spider-Man” sequels, starting with “Spider-Man 4” set for a May 2011 release.
  • News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox has the long-term movie rights to the “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four,” “Silver Surfer” and “Daredevil” franchises.
  • Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures has a five-picture distribution deal for Marvel-made movies, the first of which will be “Iron Man 2,” set for release next May. Paramount said it expects to continue working with Marvel and Disney.

Add to that, Sony and News Corp maintain their rights in perpetuity unless they fail to make more movies.

If these terms are true, that’s a BIG ouch to me.  This can’t all be about merchandising, theme park rides and retail store locations, can it?
UPDATE:  It looks like the comment above just might be true.  According to BusinessWeek, Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger has stated that the deal is all about Marvel’s 5,000 plus characters, combined with Disney’s success with consumer products, theme parks and rights and license fees.  The movies are going to have to wait.

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