|Marvel at Disney|
|Written by Dan|
|Friday, 18 September 2009 20:28|
I know, you have already read a million blogs about Marvel and Disney being merging, but I would feel that I am failing my friends if I did not remark on Disney's most recent acquisition (Marvel Comics).
Many people think that this is an evil plan by WDW to attack Universal Studios Theme Parks. While I think this is a possible side effect, I do not think this was their first thought. Face it, Marvel Comics has had a great 10 years. A well known franchise to comic enthusiests, these properties once again made their way to the silver screen. They won major box office cash and in my opionion are looking at a possible recession related defaltion. Instead of letting these great stories shrink back into the background like they did with Kermit the Frog, Disney decided to catch this property while it was hot.
The marketing power of Disney can definately be harnessed to keep Marvel growing into the future, but Marvel fans are worried that the mouse will nuter their heros. To this I say, Disney has a wide variety of lables and I am sure knows the power of the property that they have bought is it's ability to teach morals without being a fairy tale. I do not forsee a change in plots or characters. Disney works very hard at 'Character Integrity' for all characters (home made or aquired). The question is my mind is how do these new characters get folded into the Disney synergy.
Let's consider Disney's purchase of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The first place where this acquisition was realized was in the Disney Channel. A quick adjustment to the daily line up and now the synergy begins. Next, add a little character meet and greet action into then MGM-Disney Studios Theme Park. Finally, release some direct to dvd movies and maybe a spin off or two and watch the money roll in.
According to the rumor boards, there is a Marvel Theme Park in the planning phase. However, it is not coming to Orlando anytime soon. It is currently slated for Dubai (buy your plane tickets now). I expect this to be the first shot over the bow of the Universal Theme Park armada. Seaworld and Universal both have parks being built in Dubai and this is a great way for Disney to get a counter presence in the area. If you have listened to the buzz you would have heard that Universal does have an agreement for exclusive US use of Marvel Proprieties in Theme Parks east of the Mississippi.This means the Marvel 5th gate rumor is not quickly able to be realized.
Assuming that Unviersal's agreement is good for the next 10 years, I don't foresee Disney doing anything to upset this balance. The assumption here is that Universal is paying royalties to Marvel every year for Licensing and Merchandise. Thus, your ticket to go to IOA is automatically giving money into the mouse. It is possible that one company or the other may try to end this arrangement, but for now it really does not change the bottom line on IOA so I don't see Universal being the one to end the contract. It all comes down to money.
Speaking of money, a large uproar has been brewing over the fact that The Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel at the same time when they are downsizing theme park jobs. To this I point out that Walt Disney Studio and Walt Disney Theme Parks are both separate units working under the company banner. Why I lament the lost of jobs at the theme park segments, revenue from movies goes into making new movies. Thus the price tag for this acquisition is coming out of the studio budget not the theme park budget. You have to make the separation of these two budgets to make sure that the short term lull in one unit does not pull the whole company down in a Titanic fashion. I do not think that the theme parks are failing, but a healthy trimming of staff to keep the segment afloat is necessary as is the creation and acquisition of new material for future corporate expansion.