Uh-Oh: Disney Acquires Marvel!

August 31, 2009

Comic fans everywhere better find something to hold onto: Disney is set to buy Marvel for $4 billion. Will this turn our beloved Marvel heroes into warm and fuzzy characters devoid of edgy comic books and movies?

As of right now, the answer to that question is no. All the big movie franchises are still at the studios that started them. The X-Men movies will continue to be made by Twentieth Century Fox, Spider-Man will stay at Sony Pictures, and Iron Man will stay at Paramount.

For now, anyway. All deals come to an end.

The New York Times

Disney sees a deep opportunity to immediately patch the Marvel characters into its other businesses, however. Marvel characters will be added to Disney’s theme parks, while consumer products will be a huge component, particularly internationally where Marvel has made fewer inroads.

So get ready to see Mickey Mouse and Wolverine holding hands at some point in the future:

The acquisition comes as Disney, with its vast theme park operations and television advertising business, has been struggling because of a lack of hit DVDs, soft advertising sales at ABC, and drooping consumer spending at theme parks. Disney’s profit in the third quarter, which ended June 27, dropped 26 percent.

It's been noted that Pixar retained independence even once it was acquired by Disney, which might reassure pessimists. That said, Pixar makes very family-friendly films. The union Miramax made with Disney was not as smooth, and it's difficult to imagine particularly violent comic book movies coming out of a studio that's known for its theme parks and loveable cartoon characters.

Could this be the beginning of the end for Marvel?

Source: Mark Von Holden/Getty Images