Funnybook Babylon

February 19, 2008

The Business of Marvel.

Filed under: Blurbs — Joseph Mastantuono @ 2:34 pm

The Marvel shareholder’s conference call was released today, and I decided to take a listen… As a lay person, this is what I gleaned from it:

1) The publishing division is less important (financially at least) than their toy/merchandising division.

2) Interactive is really taking a back burner because…

3) They are betting the farm on Marvel Film Group. To the point of buying out previous licensing deals, which I think they bought back film deals to be able to do it themselves. The self-financing is only going so far, and they are borrowing to pay for post, and the studios are handling the advertising/distribution. They also mentioned “profit participation deals” cutting into profits a bit.

Other things of note. 2009 will only maaaybe have 1 film as opposed to the 2 outlined, due to the writer’s and possible actor’s strike. These possibly include Cap, Thor, Avengers. 2010 should have 2 as their schedule of 2 films per year.

They also mention a few other things, a stock buyback program, and a bullet point that seemed to be re-iterated. They want to be at the helm of all their franchises, and protect themselves from buyouts, which makes perfect sense. Studios have never really had any long term interests (i.e: beyond the sequel) in the longevity of any of these franchises, and therefore could be seen to maximize short-term profits, this was more apparent in the late eighties’ mid nineties, but Ghost Rider, Elektra and Daredevil’s seems like cash-out on capes short-term decisions taken in their developments.

Sounds like Marvel want to change that. However, *if* the Marvel Film Group is a success, what will it mean for the publishing division? What will failures mean? What about the fact that all of these characters are 40-60 years old? Shouldn’t the fact that there aren’t that many new characters coming out of the ranks worry them?

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve wondered about that last question myself. It seems like there should be a progression of characters that will give us a chance to really get into new characters rather than trying to figure out how to make the older characters not be old. It’s the whole Spider-Man argument from last month. Do we really need a ’60’s Spider-Man now? I’d actually rather have an older Spidey that has a family and passes the mantle onto someone I can naturally relate with, not someone who’s constantly rewritten so I’m forced to like them. This is why I like what DC is doing with the Blue Beetle property.

    Comment by Matt — February 19, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

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