Marvel: The Modern Superhero Success Story
19 August 2015 by Tony Fisher
It seems that in every year at the moment, the summer season of blockbuster film releases sees a new and highly successful superhero movie, with Ant-Man being the latest of these phenomena. But this cycle has not always been a guarantee of success, not for the comic book goliath that is Marvel anyway…
Since its inception in 1939, Marvel has evolved tremendously to become the entertainment giant it is today. In 2009, Marvel Comics’ parent company, Marvel Entertainment, was purchased by Disney for over $4 billion. A transaction which would see a majorly successful re-brand, creating popular media and memorabilia across a number of different platforms from TV to Lego.
However as recently as 1996, Marvel was in debt whilst their stock values dropped dramatically, so much so that soon enough they were declared bankrupt.
The end of Marvel’s much loved superheroes like Captain America was in sight. However, 1998 saw the merger of two entertainment companies who purchased Marvel to pull it back from the brink of extinction. Now with more control than their early movies and a multimillion dollar business only 20 years on, Marvel is going from success to success and will seemingly only grow stronger.
Today, Marvel are mostly known for their high action superhero movies produced by Disney. In 2012, The Avengers movie became the third highest grossing film worldwide with a total figure of $1.518 billion, closely followed by Avengers: Age of Ultron in sixth place with $1.341 billion and Iron Man 3 in eighth place with $1.215 billion. Overall, Marvel cinematic Entertainment movies have grossed over $8 billion worldwide, making them the highest-grossing movie franchise and film series ever seen.
Just like Mickey Mouse , the likes of Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and now Ant-Man are becoming recognisable characters, surrounded by an of array of intellectual property rights. They are entities in their own right as they are not always directly associated with their creators. This is down to re-brand by Disney, by building individual franchises and series which stem from the overall Marvel brand.
Marvel’s growth shows no signs of stopping as their creations are becoming more and more popular. There are at least 17 movies in the pipeline, numerous TV series, an array of comic books and all the toys a fan could want. Expect to see big things from Marvel as the creator of Super powers, becomes the Super power.
How have the fortunes of your own business varied over the period that Marvel has fallen and then risen from the ashes? We at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP are here to assist wherever you are on that lifecycle. If your company requires advice as to its structure, the relationship between its shareholders, or advice with regard to alternative business structure models we can help. We can also help you get ready for a business sale, and guide you through any sale or purchase. If, like Marvel, you are developing innovative ideas, we can help to protect your Intellectual Property Rights or provide general straightforward and commercially relevant advice to help grow your business. Please contact our Corporate Commercial Department on 01245 584515 or [email protected].