On August 31st, 2009 Disney bought Marvel Entertainment for 4 billion dollars. On October 20th, 2012 Disney purchased LucasFilm Ltd. and soon after announced the seventh Star Wars films release. What does this all mean? The "Mouse House" is more influential than ever before.
With the release of Thor: The Dark World, and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it got me thinking about just how powerful this company has become. In the past train wrecks like John Carter, and The Lone Ranger at the box office would/could damage a studio beyond belief. The fact of the matter is that with Marvel, LucasFilm under their umbrella, the House that Walt built can walk away with more ease from these crippling losses. The Walt Disney Company 2012 Financial report stated there was a "net income for our shareholders was a record $5.7 billion, an increase of 18% over last year, and revenue was a record $42.3 billion, up 3% from last year."
In a year with a major acquisition, the Company who does more than produce media, has shown growth in unstable economic times.
When Disney bought Marvel, I had a tough time wrapping my head around this purchase. As a major comic book fan I felt as though this would lead Marvel down a dangerous path. There is a split truth within what actually happened. At the moment comic book films, are all the rage, in reality Disney has helped keep books alive. Disney of course does not own the right to every comic book film franchise, FOX owns the
X-Men films, Sony has Spider-Man, and Warner Brothers works with DC. Disney launch of the Avengers franchise has kept all these production companies on their toes and forced them to compete, win!
The loss comes from the manipulation of the universe. Changing the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, is the most glaring example of this fact. Using creative license helps keep these films fresh, but once a change happens in the film, it seems to be reflected in the comics as though there is some mystical connection. Rogue from the X-Men films was another character ruined in the comics, after that film her powers which came from Ms. Marvel soon disappeared, and she became much less interesting. Marvel seems to believe that people are going to start reading the books, and connect the two worlds, that may not happen, just a heads up.
While nothing has been ruined forever, I must applaud the growth in the development of comic books, they serve more purpose than one can imagine, and Disney had a hand in allowing success.
I guess I should have not been surprised three years later when Disney acquired LucasFilm Ltd., but I was, and it just made me think, what is Disney going to to buy next the moon? An over dramatization of course, but as other companies falter The Walt Disney Company is only growing. I think you can view this growth as an interesting development in both the future of the media, and a company itself. I am more curious at how these purchases will impact the future of the development on every level from their amusement park, to actual goods. Will there be a real life light sabre on the market soon, or even better children's toys?
The Walt Disney Company has come to play, they are in the game, and if their creative talents continue to create interesting products, fans of their brand will show up time and time again. While I am still a skeptic on some levels, I have to say I am excited I get to see Thor grab his mighty hammer this week, and will continue to see my favorite characters in a galaxy far far away.