13 Years Ago, Disney Acquired Marvel and Revolutionized the Movie Industry

photo: whatsondisneyplus.com

In 2009, Marvel was experiencing growth and success. After facing bankruptcy in the late 1990s and selling some of its important assets to survive, the company had managed to create a successful series of interconnected superhero movies that were well received by both critics and audiences. 

However, the term "series" may be an exaggeration as Marvel had only released one successful Iron Man movie and one mediocre Hulk movie by 2009. 

Nevertheless, it was clear that Marvel was on the path to something big and Disney saw an opportunity and purchased the company for $4 billion.

"We believe that incorporating Marvel into Disney's diverse collection of brands will offer substantial opportunities for long-term growth and development," said former Disney CEO Bob Iger in an official statement. 

Marvel's CEO Ike Perlmutter, who was in charge of Marvel Studios until 2015, also expressed agreement with Iger's statement.

"Disney is the ideal place for Marvel's outstanding collection of characters given its proven capacity to expand content creation and licensing businesses," he said. 

"This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to enhance its well-known brand and character properties by utilizing Disney's vast global organization and infrastructure around the world."

Bob Iger with Avengers: Endgame’s directors at the movies 2019 premiere.

It turns out that both Bob Iger and Ike Perlmutter were correct in their assessment of the acquisition. While not every movie in the first phase of Marvel's cinematic universe was a success, the studio was able to achieve its goal of creating an epic crossover event, as promised in the post-credits scene of Iron Man.

With Disney's support, Marvel released The Avengers in 2012, which forever changed the Hollywood film industry. However, it's not so clear now, a decade later, whether the union between Marvel and Disney has had a positive or negative impact overall.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is releasing new movies and TV shows at such a fast pace that even dedicated fans are experiencing fatigue. 

Additionally, Marvel's dominance, along with other factors, has led to a transformation in the movie landscape where comedy and middle-budget action films are no longer as prominent in theaters. Furthermore, the visual effects industry is struggling to keep up with Marvel's demanding production schedule. 

Iron Man was one of two MCU movies in existence when Disney bought Marvel. 

On the other hand, it is clear how Disney may have helped Marvel in the long run. In 2009, Marvel's plans probably did not extend beyond the release of The Avengers in 2012. Thirteen years later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming to an end of its fourth phase with at least two more already in development.

A significant part of Marvel's future also depends on characters that were sold off by the company in the past. The Fantastic Four are scheduled to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2024, and the X-Men could also be joining soon. This is only possible because of Disney's merger with 20th Century Fox, something that would not have been possible if Marvel remained an independent studio.

Therefore, the merger between Disney and Marvel was beneficial for Marvel for the most part. It was also good for Disney as the company has made more than four times its investment. However, it is still uncertain whether it was good for the film industry as a whole.

Source: https://www.inverse.com

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