When did Disney buy Marvel? Why did Marvel sell to Disney? Marvel Entertainment, LLC (formerly Marvel Enterprises) was an American entertainment company founded in June 1998 and based in New York City, New York, formed by the merger of Marvel Entertainment Group and Toy Biz. The company has been a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company since 2009, and was mainly known for consumer products, licensing, and comic books by Marvel Comics, as well as its early forays into films and television/streaming shows, including those within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment for US$4 billion; it had been a limited liability company (LLC) since then. For financial reporting purposes, Marvel was primarily reported as part of Disney’s Consumer Products segment ever since Marvel Studios’ reorganization from Marvel Entertainment into Walt Disney Studios.
Over the years, Marvel Entertainment entered into several partnerships and negotiations with other companies across a variety of businesses. As of 2023, Marvel has film licensing agreements with Sony Pictures via Columbia Pictures (for Spider-Man films) and theme park licensing agreements with IMG Worlds of Adventure and Universal Destinations & Experiences (for specific Marvel character rights at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Japan). Aside from their contract with Universal Destinations & Experiences, Marvel’s characters and properties have also appeared at Disney Parks
When did Disney buy Marvel?
Disney bought Marvel in 2009, securing rights to Marvel Entertainment’s plentiful realm of superheroes. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has since been a cash cow for Disney, raking in box office sales with major titles like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Panther.” Disney+, the company’s streaming platform, has also reaped the benefits with hit shows like “WandaVision” and “Ms. Marvel.”
Why did Marvel sell to Disney?
In 2009, The New York Times reported that Marvel had trouble financing some of its major movies and meeting a requirement to raise a third of its budget by selling off overseas distribution rights. The company ended up needing to finance that third itself, which would be a great deal easier as a subsidiary of Disney.
Disney, on the other hand, was focused on growth. Iger said of the deal, “There are so many opportunities to mine both characters that are known and characters that are not widely known.”
Iger later wrote in his book, “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” that his predecessor Michael Eisner had expressed interest in acquiring Marvel years earlier, but other Disney executives were concerned the characters didn’t fit with the brand’s family- friendly reputation.
Marvel and Sony’s joint custody of Spider-Man
Spidey is a special case in the MCU as he was not part of the package deal when Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment. Sony had already bought the film rights to Spider-Man from Marvel back in 1999. In 2012, Disney bought the merchandising rights to Spider-Man, but control over the character and how he was portrayed in the films remained with Sony.
Loyal fans were relieved when, in September 2019, Sony and Disney struck a deal to continue sharing custody of the Spider-Man franchise, and Holland’s exploits as the web-throwing teen would continue on in the MCU.
What about the X-Men and Fantastic Four?
This is another deal that gets a little more complicated. In the 1990s Marvel sold the rights to the characters from the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to 20th Century Fox. That studio continued making Marvel movies even after Disney’s purchase of Marvel Entertainment.
In March 2019, Disney purchased 21st Century Fox for a whopping $71.3 billion. With that purchase came the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters.
Who owned Marvel before Disney?
Marvel Entertainment was an independent company prior to the Disney acquisition. Marvel’s chief executive at the time of the deal, Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, bought Marvel back in 1998 after it had filed for bankruptcy.
After the merger with Disney was announced, Perlmutter called Disney the “perfect home” for Marvel.
Marvel Studios is Only Getting Bigger
Recently, Marvel Studios has come into a lucrative partnership with Sony Pictures Releasing, allowing both studios to produce fan-service films centered on Spider-Man. The concept of a multiverse has allowed Marvel Studios to expand Marvel Cinematic Universe with characters from X-Men. Furthermore, the plans that Kevin Feige holds in place are making the franchise more spectacular.
Marvel Studios has plans up to 2026, with two more Avengers films planned for the culmination of the new Multiverse of Saga. Projects are already spread out for up to Phase Six. With numerous theme park attractions such as Avengers Campus, the total return on Disney’s $4 Billion investment in Marvel Entertainment is incalculable and may even surpass a trillion dollars soon.
The next three years of Marvel Studios’ MCU is well laid out to bring loads of business and increase the franchise’s popularity. Now that all Marvel characters are no longer scattered and are under one fold, Disney’s plans are becoming more fruitful than ever.
Marvel Studios Has 31 MCU Projects in Development Right Now
It is not an exaggeration to say that Marvel Studios is currently one of the most prolific entertainment producers in the industry, thanks to a high demand for more from fans and the mighty money tree of Disney behind them. Now one producer has given an insight into just how crazy the number of upcoming projects based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is.
While speaking during an engagement at “El Caecito” about the current position of the studio and how she sees it progressing, President of Physical, Post Production, VFX and Animation Victoria Alonso corrected an interviewer who suggested that there are currently thirty-five projects on Marvel’s slate, saying there are only thirty-one.
“We are currently working on 31 projects, don’t add four more, please,” Victoria Alonso said.
In the grand scheme of things, the mind at first boggles at the number, but once you start to fill in the gaps of the movies and series that are already known then the figures very quickly increase in volume. After the arrival of Eternals, Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home this year, Marvel have at least nine projects already known to be arriving in 2022.
These line up as cinematic outings of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Marvels, while Disney + will see the arrival of Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Moonknight and Secret Invasion as the current line-up stands. Then it begins to get a little sketchy, but not entirely an unknown entity.
In 2023’s MCU slate, we will definitely be seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, while there is also a strong chance that a number of Disney+ releases such as Ironheart, Armor Wars and a second season of What If…? could also fall into that year. With Marvel having also earmarked a number of currently unnamed projects, we have already a good idea of what many of these slots will be taken up by.
The teaser trailer that kicked off Phase Four has suggested that the Fantastic Four will be arriving in the relatively near future, and have confirmed that work is underway on their Blade reboot and Deadpool 3, while Captain America 4 has been confirmed but does not have a date set. The is means that as far as movies go there are three other slots that Marvel have marked out in May, July and November 2024 that we don’t have a potential movie to fill just yet.
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