By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
That Marvel would be a Hollywood prize worth having is shown by the entertainment company’s many deals with Sony, Paramount and Universal. But especially by its own aggressive self-financed exploitation of its comic book heroes in movies. Some believe Marvel Studios is about to flood the box office with product. Yet the public has shown an endless appetite for superhero fare.
But will hardcore fanboys? Given what Iger likes to refer to as the “combustion of digital word of mouth” that has more and more replaced traditional marketing operations these days, Iger and Perlmutter have their work cut out for them trying to get skeptical fanboys to believe that Disney has no intention of altering the creative approach Marvel takes with its comic books and movies. Because those fanboys are crucial to Disney’s strategy to attract teenage boys. As Iger said on CNBC: “We obviously know Disney has a lot of products that are more girl-skewed than boy. And we’d like the opportunity to go after boys more aggressively.”
Did Disney overpay for Marvel? Well, the run-up of the stock since March of this year has been +58 percent. Why didn’t Bob Iger make the move sooner? Nevertheless, with this deal, today, he finally steps out of FrankenEisner’s shadow and earns his keeps as Corporate America’s third-highest-paid CEO.
Eisner, when he ran Disney, had to be pushed kicking and screaming to make acquisitions like ABC (believing that Disney did best when it grew its businesses organically). But Iger, first with Pixar, and now with Marvel, is showing himself to be the boldest Big Media CEO with an acquisition that he summarized as one that “highlights Disney’s strategic focus on quality, branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value.”
Now the question is, can the other moguls keep up with him?
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