|Formerly||Marvel Enterprises (1998–2005)|
|Founded||June 2, 1998|
New York City, New York,
|Parent||The Walt Disney Company|
|Footnotes / references|
Marvel Entertainment, LLC (formerly Marvel Enterprises) is an American entertainment company founded in June 1998 and based in New York City, New York, formed by the merger of Marvel Entertainment Group and Toy Biz. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company since 2009, and is mainly known for its comic books by Marvel Comics, as well as its forays into films and television/streaming shows, including those within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment for US$4 billion; it has been a limited liability company (LLC) since then. For financial reporting purposes, Marvel is primarily reported as part of Disney's Consumer Products segment ever since Marvel Studios' reorganization from Marvel Entertainment into Walt Disney Studios.
Over the years, Marvel Entertainment has entered into several partnerships and negotiations with other companies across a variety of businesses. As of 2019[update], Marvel has film licensing agreements with Sony Pictures via Columbia Pictures (for Spider-Man films) and Universal Pictures (a right of first refusal to pick up the distribution rights to any future Hulk films produced by Marvel Studios), and theme park licensing agreements with IMG Worlds of Adventure and Universal Parks & Resorts (for specific Marvel character rights at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Japan). Aside from their contract with Universal Parks & Resorts, Marvel's characters and properties have also appeared at Disney Parks.
|Formerly||Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.|
|Predecessor||Marvel Comics Group|
|Founded||December 2, 1986|
|Defunct||June 2, 1998|
|Fate||Business operations merged with Toy Biz and renamed as Marvel Enterprises|
|Footnotes / references|
Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. (or MEG), incorporated on December 2, 1986, and included Marvel Comics and Marvel Productions. That year, it was sold to New World Entertainment Ltd as part of the liquidation of Cadence Industries. On January 6, 1989, Ronald Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings bought Marvel Entertainment Group from New World for $82.5 million. The deal did not include Marvel Productions, which was folded into New World's TV and movie business.
"It is a mini-Disney in terms of intellectual property," said Perelman. "Disney's got much more highly recognized characters and softer characters, whereas our characters are termed action heroes. But at Marvel we are now in the business of the creation and marketing of characters."
Marvel made an initial public offering of 40% of the stock (ticker symbol NYSE:MRV) on July 15, 1991, giving $40 million from the proceeds to Andrews Group, Marvel's then direct parent corporation within MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings.
In the early 1990s, Marvel Entertainment Group began expanding though acquisitions and the formation of new divisions. Marvel purchased the trading card company Fleer on July 24, 1992. On April 30, 1993, Marvel acquired 46% of ToyBiz, which gave the company the rights to make Marvel toys. The Andrews Group named Avi Arad of ToyBiz as the president and CEO of the Marvel Films division.
In 1993 and 1994, Marvel's holding companies, Marvel Holdings, Inc. and Marvel Parent Holdings, Inc., were formed between Andrews Group and MEG. The companies issued over half a billion dollars in bonds under the direction of Perelman, which was passed up in dividends to Perelman's group of companies. On July 5, 1994, Marvel acquired Panini Group, an Italian sticker-maker, followed by Malibu Comics on November 3  and Heroes World Distribution, a regional distributor to comic-book shops, in December. On March 10, 1995, it acquired trading card company SkyBox International and was completed later in May. Marvel's attempt to distribute its products directly led to a decrease in sales and aggravated the losses which Marvel suffered when the comic book bubble popped, the 1994 Major League Baseball strike massacred the profits of the Fleer unit, and Panini, whose revenue depended largely on Disney licensing, was hobbled by poor Disney showings at the box office.
In late 1995, Marvel reported its first annual loss under Perelman, which was attributed mainly to the company's large size and a shrinking market. On January 4, 1996 Marvel laid off 275 employees.
In late 1996, Perelman proposed a plan to save Marvel in which the company would merge with Toy Biz after Perelman spent $350 million for the Toy Biz shares that he didn't already own. He would then receive newly issued Marvel shares to maintain his 80 percent stake.
Separately, in July 1996, Marvel filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise money to create a private entity called Marvel Studios. Much of the money to create Marvel Studios came from the sale of Toy Biz stock.
On December 27, 1996, the Marvel group of companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At this time, Carl Icahn, an American businessman and investor, began buying Marvel's bonds at 20% of their value and moved to block Perelman's plan. In February 1997, Icahn won the bankruptcy court's approval to take control of the company's stock. Later, in June 1997, Icahn won the right to replace Marvel's board, including Perelman.
In December 1997, during the post-bankruptcy reorganization phase, Toy Biz came to an agreement to purchase Marvel from the banks. In December 1997, the bankruptcy court appointed a trustee to oversee the company in place of Icahn. In April 1998, while the legal battle continued, the NYSE delisted Marvel stock.
In August 2008, former company head Ronald Perelman paid $80 million to settle a lawsuit accusing him of helping divert $553.5 million in notes when he controlled the company.
ToyBiz and Marvel Entertainment Group were merged into Marvel Enterprises to bring it out of bankruptcy on June 2, 1998. In February 1999, Fleer/Skybox was sold to a corporation owned by Alex and Roger Grass, a father and son, for US$30 million.
Later, the rights to names like "Spider-Man" were being challenged. Toy Biz hired an attorney to review its license agreement. Los Angeles patent attorney Carole E. Handler found a legal loophole in the licensing of the Marvel name and was successful in reclaiming Marvel Enterprises' movie rights to its character Spider-Man.
Marvel Enterprise organized itself into four major units, Marvel Studios, Toy Biz, Licensing and Publishing, while in November 1999 adding Marvel Characters Group to manage Marvel's IP and oversee marketing. Marvel named its Marvel New Media president, Steve Milo, in November 2000 to oversee its website.
In 2003, Bill Stine purchased back Quest Aerospace, a 1995 Toy Biz acquisition, from Marvel. In summer 2003, Marvel placed an offer for Artisan Entertainment. A new unit, Marvel International, was set up in London under a president, Bruno Maglione, to extend the company's operation and presence in major overseas markets in November 2003. In December 2003, Marvel Entertainment acquired Cover Concepts from Hearst Communications, Inc. In November 2004, Marvel consolidated its children's sleepwear-apparel licensing business with American Marketing Enterprises, Inc.
In November 2004, the corporation sued South Korea-based NCSoft Corp. and San Jose, California-based Cryptic Studios Inc. over possible trademark infringement in their City of Heroes massive multiplayer online game. Marvel settled a film-royalties lawsuit in April 2005 with its former editor-in-chief, publisher and creator, Stan Lee, paying him $10 million and negotiating an end to his royalties.
In September 2005, Marvel Enterprises changed its name to Marvel Entertainment to reflect the corporation's expansion into financing its own movie slate.
In 2007, several Stan Lee Media related groups filed lawsuits against Marvel Entertainment for $1 billion and for Lee's Marvel creations in multiple states, most of which have been dismissed. Additionally, a lawsuit over ownership of the character Ghost Rider was filed on March 30, 2007, by Gary Friedrich and Gary Friedrich Enterprises, Inc.
On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced a deal to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, with Marvel shareholders to receive $30 and approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each share of Marvel they own. The voting occurred on December 31, 2009 and the merger was approved. The acquisition of Marvel was finalized hours after the shareholder vote, therefore giving Disney full ownership of Marvel Entertainment. The company was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange under its ticker symbol (MVL), due to the closing of the deal.
On June 2, 2010 Marvel announced that it promoted Joe Quesada to Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. In June 2010, Marvel set up a television division headed by Jeph Loeb as executive vice president. Three months later, Smith & Tinker licensed from Marvel the character rights for a superhero digital collectible game for Facebook and Apple's mobile platform. On October 1, 2010, Marvel moved its offices to a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) suite at 135 W. 50th Street, New York City, New York, under a nine-year sublease contract.
Stan Lee Media's lawsuit against Marvel was dismissed again in February 2011.
In March 2013, Feld Entertainment agreed with Marvel to produce a Marvel Character-based live arena show. Marvel was also launching a new pop culture and lifestyle web show, “Earth’s Mightiest Show”. On August 22, 2013, Marvel Entertainment announced that it was working with Hero Ventures on The Marvel Experience, a traveling production/attraction. In April 2014, Hong Kong Disneyland announced the construction of Iron Man Experience, the first Marvel ride at any Disney theme park. It opened in 2017 and was built on a location in the park's Tomorrowland.
On September 16, 2009, the Jack Kirby estate served notices of termination to Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures to attempt to gain control of various Silver Age Marvel characters. Marvel sought to invalidate those claims. In mid-March 2010 Kirby's estate "sued Marvel to terminate copyrights and gain profits from [Kirby's] comic creations." In July 2011, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a summary judgment in favor of Marvel, which was affirmed in August 2013 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Kirby estate filed a petition on March 21, 2014 for a review of the case by the Supreme Court of the United States, but a settlement was reached on September 26, 2014 and the family requested that the petition be dismissed.
Marvel president of TV, publishing and brand Dan Buckley was promoted to Marvel Entertainment president in January 2017 adding games, global brand management and the franchise groups to his current responsibilities. In October 2017, Ron Richards began working at Marvel Entertainment as vice president and Managing Editor of New Media. Marvel New Media expanded into a new field with the development of a scripted podcast series, Wolverine: The Long Night, announced on December 5, 2017. Marvel and SiriusXM announced on October 22, 2019 a multi-year deal for scripted and unscripted podcast series and themed live events.
Marvel Entertainment announced a new pre-school franchise, Marvel Super Hero Adventures, in September 2017 consisting of a short-form animated series along with publishing and merchandise during "Marvel Mania" October. On December 7, 2017, Marvel announced its Marvel Rising franchise focusing on new characters as youngsters starting with animation in 2018. Marvel Comics is expected to publish material for Marvel Rising, but delayed any announcement on their material.
In May 2018, The Walt Disney Company Australia purchased eight year naming rights to Docklands Stadium from Melbourne Stadiums Limited and selected the Marvel brand as part of the name. Since September 1, 2018, the stadium has been known commercially as Marvel Stadium. A Marvel retail store and other inclusion of Marvel would be added to the stadium.
In October 2019, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was named Marvel's Chief Creative Officer, overseeing all the creative affairs within Marvel Entertainment in addition to Marvel Studios. Under the structure, Marvel Television and Marvel Family Entertainment (animation) moved to Marvel Studios, with Marvel Entertainment president Dan Buckley reporting to Feige. With the December 2019 announcement of folding of Marvel TV into Marvel Studios came the dismissal of executives of vice president level and above in TV and animation under Feige plus the removal of Brian Crosby as creative director of Themed Entertainment for Marvel Entertainment.
The company's operating units, as of 2015, include:
New York City,
Marvel New Media (also called Marvel Digital) is a unit of Marvel Entertainment consisting of the company's website, web series, and podcast. Digital shows under New Media are THWIP! The Big Marvel Show, The Marvel Minute, Marvel LIVE! and Marvel Top 10.
In October 2017, Ron Richards began working at Marvel Entertainment as vice president and Managing Editor of New Media, while Marvel Digital freelance on-air host Lorraine Cink was hired as Senior Creative Producer. Marvel New Media expanded into a new field with the development of a scripted podcast series, Wolverine: The Long Night, announced on December 5, 2017.
On April 7, 2018 at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, Marvel New Media announced its new slate. Marvel named Shane Rahmani as senior vice president and general manager of new media in March 2019. On April 10, 2019, a slate of 10 unscripted series including two from Marvel New Media was revealed for Disney+. After Rahmani left for Google, podcast host Ryan Penagos became vice president and creative executive for the organization.
Marvel and SiriusXM announced on October 22, 2019 a multi-year deal for multiple scripted and unscripted podcast series for 2020 debuts. The first four scripted series feature Black Widow, Hawkeye, Star-Lord and Wolverine, which is planned to lead to a fifth series featuring all four characters. The slate's unscripted podcasts would consist of talk shows, Marvel's history via a modern-day pop cultural view and popular Marvel franchises focused podcasts.
|Title||Seasons||Episodes||Original airing||Production company||Ref.|
|Marvel's Voices||1||53||2012–present||Marvel New Media|||
|Women of Marvel||1||265||2014–present|||
|Marvel's Declassified||1||12||2020–present||Marvel New Media / Sirius XM|||
|Title||Seasons||Episodes||Original airing||Production company||Ref.|
|Wolverine: The Long Night||1||10||2018||Marvel New Media / Stitcher|||
|Wolverine: The Lost Trail||1||10||2019|
|Wolverine: La Larga Noche||1||10||2021||Marvel New Media / Sirius XM|||
|Marvel's Wastelanders: Star-Lord||1||10|||
|Marvel's Wastelanders: Hawkeye||1||10|
|Marvel's Wastelanders: Black Widow||1||10||2022|
|Marvel's Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show!||1||6|||
|Marvel's Wastelanders: Wolverine||1||10||TBA|||
|Marvel's Wastelanders: Doom||1||10|
See subsidiaries' articles for their executives
For any live-action television series created after 2009, see Marvel Television.
|Blade: The Series||June 28, 2006 – September 13, 2006||Phantom Four
New Line Television
|Warner Bros. Television Distribution||Spike||12|
|Spider-Man: The New Animated Series||July 11 – September 12, 2003||Sony Pictures Television||MTV||13|
|The Spectacular Spider-Man||March 8, 2008 – November 18, 2009||
||Sony Pictures Television||The CW
|Marvel Anime: Iron Man||2010–11 (Japan)
|Madhouse / Marvel Entertainment||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment||G4 (U.S.)
Sci Fi Channel (Australia)
|Each anime series consisted of 12 episodes|
|Marvel Anime: Wolverine|
|Marvel Anime: X-Men|
|Marvel Anime: Blade|
|Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers||2014–15 (Japan)
2015–16 (Southeast Asia)
|Toei Animation / Marvel Entertainment / The Walt Disney Company Japan||TX Network (Japan)
Disney XD (Southeast Asia)
|Marvel Future Avengers||2017–18||Madhouse / Marvel Entertainment / The Walt Disney Company Japan||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment||Dlife|
|Year||Film||Directed by||Written by||Produced / Distributed by||Budget||Gross|
|1998||Blade||Stephen Norrington||David S. Goyer||New Line Cinema||$40 million||$131.2 million|
|2000||X-Men||Bryan Singer||Story by Tom DeSanto & Bryan Singer
Screenplay by David Hayter
|20th Century Fox||$75 million||$296.3 million|
|2002||Blade II||Guillermo del Toro||David S. Goyer||New Line Cinema||$54 million||$155 million|
|Spider-Man||Sam Raimi||David Koepp||Columbia Pictures||$139 million||$821.7 million|
|2003||Daredevil||Mark Steven Johnson||20th Century Fox||$78 million||$179.2 million|
|X2||Bryan Singer||Story by Zak Penn and David Hayter & Bryan Singer
Screenplay by Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris and David Hayter
|$110 million||$407.7 million|
|Hulk||Ang Lee||Story by James Schamus
Screenplay by John Turman and Michael France and James Schamus
|Universal Pictures||$137 million||$245.4 million|
|2004||The Punisher||Jonathan Hensleigh||Jonathan Hensleigh and Michael France||Lionsgate Films / Artisan Entertainment / Columbia Pictures||$33 million||$54.7 million|
|Spider-Man 2||Sam Raimi||Story by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar and Michael Chabon
Screenplay by Alvin Sargent
|Columbia Pictures||$200 million||$783.8 million|
|Blade: Trinity||David S. Goyer||New Line Cinema||$65 million||$128.9 million|
|2005||Elektra||Rob Bowman||Zak Penn and Stuart Zicherman & Raven Metzner||20th Century Fox||$43 million||$56.7 million|
|Man-Thing||Brett Leonard||Han Rodionoff||Lionsgate Films / Artisan Entertainment||$30 million||$1.1 million|
|Fantastic Four||Tim Story||Mark Frost and Michael France||20th Century Fox||$100 million||$330.6 million|
|2006||X-Men: The Last Stand||Brett Ratner||Simon Kinberg & Zak Penn||$210 million||$459.4 million|
|2007||Ghost Rider||Mark Steven Johnson||Columbia Pictures||$110 million||$228.7 million|
|Spider-Man 3||Sam Raimi||Screenplay by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent
Story by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi
|$258 million||$890.9 million|
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||Tim Story||Screenplay by Don Payne and Mark Frost
Story by John Turman and Mark Frost
|20th Century Fox||$130 million||$289 million|
|2008||Punisher: War Zone||Lexi Alexander||Nick Santora and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway||Lionsgate Films||$35 million||$10.1 million|
|2009||X-Men Origins: Wolverine||Gavin Hood||David Benioff and Skip Woods||20th Century Fox||$150 million||$373.1 million|
|2011||X-Men: First Class||Matthew Vaughn||Screenplay by Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
Story by Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer
|$140–$160 million||$353.6 million|
|2012||Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance||Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor||Screenplay by Scott M. Gimple and Seth Hoffman & David S. Goyer
Story by David S. Goyer
|Columbia Pictures||$57 million||$132.6 million|
|The Amazing Spider-Man||Marc Webb||Screenplay by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves
Story by James Vanderbilt
|$230 million||$757.9 million|
|2013||The Wolverine||James Mangold||Scott Frank and Mark Bomback||20th Century Fox||$120 million||$414.8 million|
|2014||The Amazing Spider-Man 2||Marc Webb||Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt||Columbia Pictures||$200–293 million||$709 million|
|X-Men: Days of Future Past||Bryan Singer||Screenplay by Simon Kinberg
Story by Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman & Simon Kinberg
|20th Century Fox||$200 million||$747.9 million|
|2015||Fantastic Four||Josh Trank||Jeremy Slater, Seth Grahame-Smith, T.S. Nowlin & Simon Kinberg||$120 million||$168 million|
|2016||Deadpool||Tim Miller||Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick||$58 million||$783.1 million|
|X-Men: Apocalypse||Bryan Singer||Simon Kinberg, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty||$178 million||$534.5 million|
|2017||Logan||James Mangold||Screenplay by Michael Green, Scott Frank and James Mangold
Story by James Mangold
|$97 million||$619 million|
|2018||Deadpool 2||David Leitch||Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds||$110 million||$785 million|
|Venom||Ruben Fleischer||Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Kelly Marcel and Will Beall||Columbia Pictures||$100 million||$855 million|
|Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman||Screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman
Story by Phil Lord
|Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation||$90
|2019||Dark Phoenix||Simon Kinberg||20th Century Fox||$200 million||$252.4 million|
|2020||The New Mutants||Josh Boone||Josh Boone and Knate Lee||20th Century Studios||$80 million||$45.6 million|
|2021||Venom: Let There Be Carnage||Andy Serkis||Kelly Marcel||Columbia Pictures||$110 million||$506.8 million|
|2022||Morbius||Daniel Espinosa||Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless||$75–83 million||$163.8 million|
|2023||Kraven the Hunter||J. C. Chandor||Art Marcum and Matt Holloway and Richard Wenk||Columbia Pictures|
|2023||Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse||Joaquim Dos Santos||David Callaham||Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation|
|2023||Madame Web||S. J. Clarkson||Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless||Columbia Pictures|
|2024||Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse||Joaquim Dos Santos||David Callaham||Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation|
|2024||El Muerto||Columbia Pictures|
Main article: Marvel Games
Fox has the rights to the X-Men, including Wolverine, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four.
Sec.3 (d) a fully-executed assignment agreement, in substantially the form of the Assignment Agreement dated as of August 30, 2005 by and among MEI, Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. and MCI, assigning MEI’s, Marvel Property, Inc.’s (formerly known as Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.) and MVL Development LLC’s rights in the Unencumbered Characters to MCI;
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((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
One person who works at Disney traces Perlmutter’s most recent loss of territory back to a period leading up to the 2015 Marvel Studios split when he began to side with executive Alan Fine, a longtime lieutenant of his, over Feige. Fine was a member of Perlmutter’s “creative committee,” which provided input on Marvel films and was considered responsible for several projects being delayed. [...] The creative committee was eventually disbanded, and Fine is no longer with Marvel.