Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney buys Marvel Comics (aka. Marvel Entertainment)

Wow. I guess it wasn't enough that Mickey Mouse owns ABC, ESPN, Hockey's Mighty Ducks and Major League Baseball's L.A. Angels - now he owns the Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk.

I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, would I love to see Marvel characters all over Disneyland, with Marvel-themed attractions and rides? Yes, I would. Would I love to see Pixar pump out some sweet CGI feature films about my favorite comic book heroes? Yes, I would.

On the other hand, do I want to see the Disney logo replace the famous Marvel logo on comics, t-shirt tags and the opening credits of movies? No way, Jose.

We'll see how it pans out ... I just hope Mickey leaves the Marvel brand alone, as they have done with ESPN. Please Uncle Walt, no crappy cross-overs where you use our beloved characters to market to tween girls with some drek like "Wolverine meets Hannah Montana." Gag me ...

Disney to Acquire Marvel for $4 Billion! From: Superhero Hype.Com

Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.

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 five films--"Iron Man 2," "Thor," "Captain America," "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 3"--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."