After reading and digesting a variety of stories and editorials on the Disney purchase of Marvel, I’ve distilled what I read into some highlights regarding what I believe to be the most important issues of the merger: Disney’s deal with Boom!, Marvel TV shows and movies, Universal Studios, and Marvel management. Links are at the end, and they all deserve further review.
Disney Comics At Boom!:
On the other hand, don’t expect to see Boom! Studios’ line of Pixar books immediately transition over to Marvel. A general theme so far seems to be that Disney doesn’t wish to violate any pre-existing agreements on either end. We would guess that when the current Boom! arrangement expires, books like the Incredibles and Cars will move to Marvel, but for now expect business as usual.
Paramount, a unit of Viacom, has an agreement to distribute five Marvel films, including two “Iron Man” sequels, over the next few years. Disney said it would honor the contract, but the goal is clearly to bring Marvel’s movies in-house.
“We believe Viacom is unlikely to retain distribution rights to Marvel films after the agreement” ends, said Michael C. Morris, a UBS analyst. A Paramount statement read in part, “We look forward to continuing to work with Marvel and, with today’s announcement, to working with Disney.”
Third, there’s television. That’s actually one of the places I think we can expect to see Marvel material appear. Disney has not been able to put together as successful a boy’s network as they have with girls. There has been no boy equivalent to either Hannah Montana or Secret Life of An American Girl. Their current boy’s network, which is supposed to have adventure shows, instead has primarily boy oriented sitcoms, but I personally don’t believe boys care about those kind of shows the way girls do. Marvel would fit in very well here, providing they get back their contracts from the various networks that currently hold them. Before Disney spent 4 billion dollars, I’m certain they investigated all the properties down to the nth degree. Last time I spent 4 bil, I certainly did.
Certain Marvel characters can be immediately integrated into Disney’s theme parks in California, Paris and Hong Kong. (For now, Walt Disney World in Florida is off limits because of a pact Marvel has in place with Universal Studios there.) Disney’s cable channels, in particular Disney XD, will have new intellectual property to mine. And the potential in consumer products is huge, especially overseas.
Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s chief executive, will continue to oversee the superhero properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s characters. The executive, who outmaneuvered the billionaire financiers Ronald O. Perelman and Carl C. Icahn to acquire Marvel out of bankruptcy, will receive about $1.44 billion in cash and Disney stock, regulatory filings suggest.
“It feels like Christmas morning,” Quesada ‘tweeted’ Monday morning, “I haven’t seen this much excitement in the Marvel halls since… well, ever! … If you’re familiar with the Disney/Pixar relationship, then you’ll understand why this is a new dawn for Marvel and the comics industry.” Quesada continues: “Everybody take a deep breath, all your favorite comics remain unchanged and [Marvel Senior Editor] Tom Brevoort remains grouchy … this is incredible news and all is well in the Marvel U.”