Mickey mouse and Spider-man
The Walt Disney Company announced, this morning, the acquisition of Marvel comics for four-billion dollars. Over 5000 Marvel characters are now owned by Disney.
Marvel share holders will receive about .74 shares of Disney stock for every one share of Marvel stock they own. All of the current contracts Marvel has with other film companies will be honored: Paramount pictures still own the rights to “Iron Man”, Sony pictures will still own “Spider-man”, and Twentieth Century Fox will still continue with the “X-Men” franchise.
In a press release by the Disney Company, CEO Bob Iger is quoted as saying, “"This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney's tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world."
There is speculation around the national media organizations that this could be an attempt, by Disney, to attracted more boys to their brand. They already have “Hanna Montana” and “High School Musical” which are very popular with girls – the purchase of Marvel should help with their popularity with boys.
Although the movies based on Marvel characters are usually rated PG, or P-13 and are highly popular with children, their comic books, over the last two decades, have targeted an increasingly older market. The “Dark Reign” story line has a highly political theme, and their “Ultimate Universe” has depicted adult situations like rape, alcohol abuse, and womanizing.
There seems to be a conflict with the images of the two brands, and at this point it is unsure how, if at all, the content of Marvel comic books will be affected by the Disney buy-out.