Disney Buys Marvel, Mickey Mouse Meets Spiderman!

…Some New Members To Enter The Magic Kingdom

Disney Marvel Merger CharactersMaking the rounds in the Business and News scene today is the mega-deal that will see Walt Disney Corporation (which also owns ABC, ESPN, Pixar, etc), add Marvel Entertainment to its stable of creative companies. With it comes access to Marvel’s vast (an understatement if there ever was one) Library of over 5,000 characters. In fact, Disney CEO Robert Iger calls it a “treasure trove of […] characters [that] offers Disney the ability to do what we do best,” in an interview with CNNMoney.

The purchase of Marvel allows Disney to broaden its Brand and Image. What’s the cost of such maneuvering?

Disney Marvel LogosThe deal will reportedly cost Disney $4 Billion (a number which many feel is quite a high price to pay, and may say what kind of state Disney’s non-Pixar creative Movie Department is in). This wouldn’t be Disney’s first foray into big Media purchasing. In 1996 Disney acquired ABC, Inc (Capital Cities) in a $19 Billion deal, and the aforementioned mega animation studio Pixar for $7.4 Billion. The deal also ends some 70 years of independence that Marvel enjoyed, dating back to 1939 when New York magazine publisher Martin Goodman created Timely Publications (Marvel’s prior name).

The deal will open Disney up to a new repository of movies, that fit with Disney’s more recent, less frequent family-type movies, to more edgier films. On the flip side it allows Marvel access to Disney’s vast global distribution and marketing platforms that opens them up to far more opportunities than they had before.

Mickey Mouse SpidermanMarvel’s recent string of Blockbuster Franchise movies include “Spider-Man”, “X-Men”, “Iron Man”, “Fantastic Four”, “The Incredible Hulk”, and more…with many more possibilities for the future. Disney won’t get to distribute Marvel’s movies until 2013 (when Marvel’s distribution deal with Paramount Studios comes to an end after releases of an “Iron Man” sequel in 2010, “Thor” and “First Avenger: Captain America” in 2011 and “The Avengers” in 2012), but they will get to enjoy most of the proceeds from those films.

It’s quite a change for Disney, who over the decades have produced pure family-friendly films and TV shows. With recent stars like Lizzie Mcguire/Hilary Duff, Raven-Symoné, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Alex Russo/Selena Gomez, Sonny Munroe/Demi Lovato, etc. Many of which were geared towards young-adult and teen girls. With the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment they gain that definitive foothold on the young-adult and teen boys demographic that they have not been able to get a lock on. It allows Disney to cover all ranges of demographics, and all ages of the family entertainment platform.

Stan Lee Walt DisneyThe change from old to new, could work out well for Disney as it continues to evolve each decade. Utilizing all of their resources including their own Walt Disney Studios, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Pixar Studios, DreamWorks and now Marvel Entertainment…movies like “High School Musical”, “The Incredibles”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “X-Men” will and can appeal to both young kids, teens, and young-adults and cover nearly all of their demographics.

They (Disney), paid a hefty price for Marvel…but it just might pay off well for them in the long-run.


~ by paradisereason on September 1, 2009.

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