Universal Promoting Disney?

May 19, 2016, 6:04 PM

While Universal is holding onto the Marvel theme park license for all its worth, is Universal essentially promoting Disney with the Marel movies? For most people, my self included, Marvel is one of the first IP's you think of when you think of Disney IP's. So when people walk into Marvel Island, will they associate it with Disney? Honestly, I don't think it'll be more than five years until universal and Disney make a deal so Disney gets theme park rights in Florida

Replies (7)

May 19, 2016, 7:58 PM

Studios have much more collaborative relationships than most people outside the entertainment industry probably think. So long as both sides are making money, everyone's happy.

Disney would have to write a billion-dollar check to get Universal to sell back the rights. Maybe that'll happen. But I doubt it.

May 20, 2016, 12:28 AM

Adding to Robert's post, there has never been (within my knowledge) a credible report that Disney has had any serious interest in changing the licensing agreement.

May 20, 2016, 10:36 AM

Um, Joe, those of us who actually read the Marvel comic books back in the Dark Ages (before PCs and the Internet) don't even think of Disney when we think of Marvel.

And while I'm glad that Disney is making movies based on the Marvel IP (perhaps they're making a bit too many movies), if it weren't for the Disney castle animation at the beginning of the movie, I'd never associate the two.

Besides, when I'm in Marvel Superhero Island, I'm too busy trying to find the Haunted Mansion and the Anna and Elsa Meet-n-Greet to think about Disney.

May 20, 2016, 12:41 PM

I think it is the other way around, Universal makes money off of Marvel movies..

Go see a movie, go to universal to ride the attractions.

I think of Stan Lee when I think of Marvel not Disney.

May 20, 2016, 12:46 PM

I think that Marvel is so distinct from the Disney Brand (in the way ESPN and Touchstone are) that people don't look at it and think "Disney".

Other IP have happily lived in multiple park chains in different territories at different times - Warner Bros characters are in the Warner Parks and in Six Flags for example.

Harry Potter is at Universal, but he's also in the WB studios tour in London, LA, and the Warner Parks.

Thomas the tank engine is in Drayton manor, and appears at pretty much every heritage steam railway.

Edited: May 21, 2016, 6:22 AM

Dunno about all the merchandising aspects of things - although I am sure both parties are making money somewhere - but when it comes to the movies I definitely refer to them by their studios, like Disney/Marvel, or Fox/Marvel, Sony/Marvel, whatever. And generally, when I speak highly of a Marvel Comics based film, it is the Disney/Marvel movies to which I refer. Let's face it, with over $10b in the bank so far, the Disney/Marvel films (with a little help from Paramount and Universal in the beginning) are the ones people are, by and large, going to see.

Yes, it is an interesting side note that Universal actually distributed three Marvel films: Ang Lee's Hulk in 2003, Ed Norton's the Incredible Hulk in 2008 (the second film in the MCU), and the steaming turd known as Howard the Duck in 1986. Like Robert said in his post, where Marvel is concerned these companies are so intertwined, it is almost impossible to separate them!

May 21, 2016, 11:38 AM

While Disney has been benefiting from the success of Marvel, it should be noted that Marvel has for the most part remained the same. The people at Marvel don't mind about being at Universal because they are not Disney people, the are they people who have been at Marvel for a long time.

What's so impressive about Marvel was that they went from struggling financially and creativity to turning themselves around to the point that Disney wanted to purchase the company . The people at Disney didn't want to buy Marvel and make sweeping changes, they bought Marvel and kept it for the most part the same.

As for theme parks I'm sure Disney would like to get Marvel out of Universal, but they have no way of doing so without losing money. So Disney will let Marvel stay at Universal until they can find a way to make an agreement that isn't a money loser. For the time being, the deal is beneficial for both companies, and Disney will keep the contract as is until they can find a decent way out of it. That will probably be a long time.

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