Disney/Marvel Responses on the Business End

According to the NY Times, Disney shareholders weren’t thrilled by yesterday’s announcement that the company would be acquiring Marvel.

They sliced $1.5 billion off its market value Monday. That’s nearly twice the premium Disney agreed to pay Marvel’s shareholders.

Disney stock dropped due to the premium Marvel was getting: 40 times its earnings of $100 million. (Its own stock is at 15 times earnings.) And Marvel didn’t have a movie out this year, so it’s not making the kind of big money it did in 2008. But this is a deal planning for the long term, as Nikki Finke points out. She lists the expiration dates on various existing Marvel contracts — Their film distribution deal runs through 2013. The Universal theme park deal lasts for as long as they stay in agreement and maintain the attractions, so there goes my hope for Marvel Disney World rides anytime soon. (Unless, as speculation has it, there’s some kind of buy-out.) Activision has Spider-Man and X-Men games locked up through 2017. That’s also the expiration date of the Hasbro toy agreement.

Those are some looooooong contracts there. I know it’s less than ten years, but that seems excessive in a popular culture field.


7 Responses to “Disney/Marvel Responses on the Business End”

  1. Kenny Cather Says:

    Maybe it’s because I look at this as a long time Disney stock watcher, but I’m also not thrilled about this purchase. Disney way overpaid for Marvel. Disney’s stock takes yet another hit. Will superhero movies be as popular in 4 years? Or is it a passing fad? This seems like one of those acquisitions done to show growth.

  2. Thad Says:

    Well, Marvel DID have a movie out this year (Wolverine), just not the spate of summer blockbusters it’s had in previous years.

  3. Johanna Says:

    I think, technically, that was Fox, not a Marvel Studio release.

  4. Charles RB Says:

    “Will superhero movies be as popular in 4 years? Or is it a passing fad?”

    It’s been nine years since X-Men, so I think we’re past the point where we can call it a fad.

  5. Johanna Says:

    I think Iron Man 2 is going to be a key indicator. The superhero movies out recently were flops — Spirit, Punisher, Hulk — or underperformed — Wolverine, Watchmen. Planned films — JLA, Green Arrow Supermax — are iffy. The last successes were Iron Man and Dark Knight, but they were HUGE. So superhero films still appear to be a gamble, combining the right cast, the right character, and the right staff. If they all come together, the results are enormous.

  6. Lara Phillips Says:

    I couldn’t believe it when I heard. Having originally trained as an animator, I can’t help but be excited at the possibilities in that arena. However, it is worrying that nothing was mentioned of the publishing side? How did you think this will affect production of movies based on the more mature Marvel lines like Punisher Max etc?

  7. Johanna Says:

    The publishing side is relatively unimportant, compared to the money found in movies and other licensing. The characters are still there to exploit whether or not new stories with them are coming out.

    The only mature Marvel movie option was the Punisher, and that’s flopped twice. It seems the money is in material that appeals more widely.

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