Marvel Enterprises Inc. has hired David Maisel as president and coo of Marvel Studios. He will work on expanding Marvel's success into new entertainment arenas as well as maximizing the commercial success of Marvel Studios' future feature film releases. Four feature films based on Marvel characters will be released in 2004: THE PUNISHER (Lions Gate, April 16), SPIDER-MAN 2 (Columbia, July 2), BLADE: TRINITY (New Line, Aug. 13) and MAN-THING (Artisan, October).
Marvel Studios' mission is to maximize the financial and creative success from each entertainment project that is based on Marvel's vast universe of more than 4,700 characters. This includes determining the best strategy for third-party, non-recourse financing and for the distribution of a wide variety of new entertainment projects, including: films for theatrical release, direct-to-video and DVD projects, television programming and live theatrical productions.
Since the launch of its feature film slate in 1998, Marvel's seven character-based feature film releases have grossed more than $2 billion in worldwide box office receipts, and have captured the #1 position in each of their opening weekends. In testament to Marvel's strong brand awareness, such films have generated more than $1 billion in worldwide DVD/Video wholesale sales.
Maisel will report directly to Avi Arad, chairman and ceo of Marvel Studios. Commenting on the appointment, Arad, stated, "Marvel has an incredibly strong and still under-utilized library of intellectual property, with a vast array of characters that can be developed for various demographic groups. Marvel Studios will focus on unlocking the value of more of our characters through new entertainment projects that specifically target those demographic groups that most heavily purchase DVDs and video games. Additionally, many of our characters that have not yet been exposed to a broad demographic audience will benefit from the visibility gained via Marvel Studios-developed entertainment projects. I look forward to working with David in taking advantage of this great opportunity and together making Marvel Studios a significant contributor to Marvel's financial results and the continued growth in the strength of the global Marvel brand."
Allen Lipson, Marvel president and ceo, added, "David will play a crucial role in spearheading major strategic growth initiatives for Marvel Studios, including securing third-party, non-recourse financing for new entertainment projects. These initiatives will serve the important goal of increasing the exposure, awareness and value of the Marvel brand, while maintaining Marvel's strict investment and cost disciplines."
Maisel has more than 15 years of diverse entertainment industry experience. For the past two years, he has headed Endeavor Agency's corporate strategy and business development. Maisel began his agency career at Creative Artists Agency in 1994, working closely with CAA founder Michael Ovitz to facilitate deals like Matsushita's sale of MCA Universal to Seagram in 1995. He later joined The Walt Disney Co. as director of corporate development and strategic planning. Following his time at Disney, Maisel was named president of Livent Inc., a publicly traded live theatrical production company, where he successfully piloted the company's restructuring and sale to SFX Ent., now part of Clear Channel. Maisel is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
Marvel Enterprises (www.marvel.com) operations are focused in entertainment and consumer product licensing and comic book publishing. Marvel's creative teams at its Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics and Toy Biz divisions support the development of feature films (and DVD/video), video games, TV series and toy lines based on its characters. Marvel also licenses its characters for use in a broad and growing range of consumer products and services, including apparel, collectibles, food and promotions. Marvel Comics is a leading global comics publisher and an invaluable source of intellectual property; Marvel Studios works with studios to develop feature film and entertainment projects; and Toy Biz is a recognized leader in toy design, sales and marketing that develops and oversees both licensee and in-house toy lines.