The Walt Disney Company is doing well this year. Last Tuesday, they posted a quarterly profit total of $2.25 billion, which is a 22 percent increase over the same quarter in 2013. Much of that success comes from the profitability of Marvel Entertainment, which Disney purchased in 2009.
Disney CEO Bob Iger visited CNBC to discuss the company’s strong showing, and Marvel’s role in particular. Iger seems very proud of what Disney has been able to do with Marvel, and points to their latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy, as especially representative of Marvel’s strength.
Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel is a wonderful story. We believed when we bought Marvel in 2009, they had great intellectual property, they had great characters, great stories, and very, very talented group of people working for them. We did not think that the spotlight had been put on the Marvel brand, and we thought, with their continued success especially in terms of producing movies, and with Disney as a partner, or with them being part of Disney, we could burnish the Marvel brand. I think we’ve done a good job of that. I don’t mean to sound overly conceited about it, but I think Guardians of the Galaxy speaks volumes in that regard. This is not only about a good movie, this about the fact that the Marvel brand has arrived and is very healthy, and if you look ahead at Avengers 2, and Ant-Man, and Captain America 3, and we just announced the sequel to Guardians, which will be 2017, the pipeline there, and the pipeline across the studio, is in great shape.
Despite featuring relatively unknown characters, Guardians of the Galaxy has been Marvel’s most successful new film franchise since Iron Man (not counting Avengers, since that was a crossover featuring established characters), sporting a domestic box office total of over $253 million.