Tim Connors has been named Chief Operating Officer of Marvel Studios, the Hollywood subsidiary of Marvel Ent. In his new role, Connors will manage Marvel Studios' day-to-day business operations as well as oversee the business transactions for all studio productions including the anticipated releases of IRON MAN 2 on May 7, 2010, THOR on July 16, 2010, THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA on May 6, 2011, THE AVENGERS in July 15, 2011 and ANT MAN.
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Marvel Animation is expanding its slate of offerings with 26 action-packed half-hour episodes of an all-new animated television series based on THOR. The THOR series will be self-produced by Marvel and is scheduled to launch fall 2010 following Marvel's live-action THOR feature film in summer of 2010.
Marvel Studios has hired Joe Johnston to direct FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
The studio is hearing pitches and is expected to hire a writer soon to adapt the classic comic book character. Kevin Feige with Marvel is producing.
Starting with IRON MAN, Marvel has set in motion a film path leading to a big AVENGERS film for 2011. THOR, the IRON MAN sequel and CAPTAIN AMERICA (set for May 6, 2011) all will lay the ground work.
For Q3 2008, Marvel reported net sales of $182.5 million and net income of $50.6 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, compared to net sales of $123.6 million and net income of $36.3 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, in Q3 2007. The year-over-year improvement reflects an earlier-than-expected recognition of approximately $60 million in film revenues associated with the box office performance of Marvel's IRON MAN feature film.
However, with the lack of a new film scheduled for 2009, Marvel Chairman Morton Handel expects next year to be more modest.
TELETOON Canada Inc. and Marvel Animation have entered into a multi-year output deal that sees TELETOON become the home of Marvel Animation in Canada. Beginning in spring 2009, a broad spectrum of Marvel animated series will air on TELETOON networks in both English and French. The agreement sees Marvel deliver a minimum of 182 episodes of first-run animation for broadcast and includes rights for additional platforms including broadband, video-on-demand, mobile and other online opportunities.
Paramount Pictures will distribute Marvel Studios' next five self-produced feature films on a worldwide basis.
The deal, an extension of the original agreement made by Brad Grey when he arrived as CEO and Chairman of Paramount, includes theatrical distribution in foreign territories previously serviced by Marvel through local distribution entities (Japan, Germany, France, Spain and Australia/New Zealand). This new worldwide distribution pact capitalizes on Marvel and Paramount’s successful efforts with IRON MAN, which has grossed $574 million worldwide for Marvel.
Director and actor Kenneth Branagh is in negotiations to direct Marvel Studios' THOR, per VARIETY.
THOR is set for a July 16, 2010 release date, just more than two months after IRON MAN 2 bows on May 7, 2010. Branagh, known best for his Shakespeare films, has not directed a film heavy on action since HENRY V in 1989, about the play about the English king's bloody conquest of France.
For the first time, Marvel Ent. is creating comic book series exclusively for the Web with new IRON MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK series coming this fall. They will only available via an online subscription service, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited at www.marvel.com/digitalcomics.
Marvel Entertainment is partnering with Japanese animation studio Madhouse to create brand new characters inspired by the Marvel Universe for the Japanese market.
Lionsgate has acquired the home entertainment distribution rights to WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN, a new animated series from Marvel Ent, extending the current relationship between the two companies.
Lionsgate will retain the United States home distribution rights to all 26 half-hour episodes of WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN,(a co-production with Toonz Ent., Singapore and First Serve International), scheduled to air on Nicktoons Network beginning in January 2009.
Marvel is reportedly close to a deal with writer Justin Theroux to pen the sequel to IRON MAN, per VARIETY.
The comic's film division is also close to a deal to bring back director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey, Jr. for a film it has already announced it will release in April 2010.
Theroux is an actor-writer, best known for roles in CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE, HBO's SIX FEET UNDER and miniseries JOHN ADAMS. He recently wrote DreamWorks comedy TROPIC THUNDER, arriving from Paramount in August.
RUNAWAYS is the latest Marvel Comics book to run for the big screen for Marvel Studios, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Co-creator Brian K. Vaughan is writing the screenplay and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will producer. Vaughan is also a co-producer and writer for ABC's LOST.
THQ Inc. and Marvel Ent., Inc. announced that they have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to create videogames based on the burgeoning, kid-friendly MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD franchise. As part of the multiyear agreement, THQ has obtained the exclusive, worldwide rights to publish content for all current and next-generation consoles, handheld systems, as well as Windows PC. The initial MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD game is scheduled for release in fall 2009.
In the wake of IRON MAN's success, Marvel Studios execs Kevin Feige and David Maisel are reaping the benefits. According to VARIETY, Feige has been upped to president and Maisel has signed on as the chairmen of the film unit through 2010.
Following a huge, $100 million-plus opening weekend for its first film IRON MAN, Marvel Studios has announced their schedule through 2011, per VARIETY.
As rumored, the IRON MAN sequel will bow on April 30, 2010, the first summer weekend of the year. THOR is also headed for a '10 opening on June 4. Matthew Vaughn is set to direct the film about the Norse god who wields a giant hammer.
In a move designed to further strengthen the company's presence in the animation and home entertainment markets, Marvel Entertainment has promoted Eric Rollman to President, Marvel Animation.
In his new role, Rollman -- who was most recently Executive Vice President, Home Entertainment & TV Production for Marvel Studios -- will oversee Marvel's animation slate, as well as partnerships with key broadcasters and home entertainment studios. Rollman will report directly to Simon Philips, President of Marvel Entertainment International.
Marvel Studios, in its first major TV deal since going independent in 2005, has pre-sold the cable rights to IRON MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK to FX, VARIETY reports.
The deal also includes three yet-to-be determined superhero movies, none of which has debuted in theaters.
"This is a watershed deal for the company," said David Maisel, chairman of Marvel to VARIETY. "It's a real vote of confidence" in the viability of the Marvel superheros.
Geoffrey Ammer, former Sony and Disney marketing head, will now oversee advertising, publicity and promotional campaigns for Marvel Studio's self-produced flicks.
He'll start with IRON MAN (opening May 2) and THE INCREDIBLE HULK (opening June 13), working with studios issuing those releases; Paramount for IRON MAN and Universal for HULK.
Ammer will handle marketing for the home video releases as well, including direct to DVD titles and will report to David Maisel, chairman of Marvel.
Three high-profile promotional partners have joined with Paramount Pictures and previously announced partner LG Electronics to publicize Marvel Studio's upcoming IRON MAN, reports KIDSCREEN. Audi will have a sports car featured in the movie, Burger King will mount a QSR promo at locations worldwide, and 7-Eleven will offer IRON MAN Slurpee cups at its 6,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. More than 100 licensees worldwide have been signed by Marvel. The film is scheduled for release in the U.S. on May 2.
Marvel Ent., Inc. announced today that it has named Segal Licensing as its new licensing representative in Canada. Segal will oversee all sales, retail, merchandising and marketing of the Marvel brand in the strategically important market.
For the first time ever, Marvel Comics is making its comic book vault available via its new online subscription service Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
Marvel Ent. today reported operating results for the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007. Marvel also raised its 2007 financial guidance for net sales, net income and diluted EPS and initiated financial guidance for 2008.
In its second quarter report, Marvel Ent. announced the production of a new animated direct-to-DVD feature entitled HULK SMASH. No plot details were announced, but it will be released via Lionsgate in Oct. 2008.
Alan Fine has been appointed to the newly created position of evp/chief marketing officer of Marvel Characters Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marvel Ent., which owns and licenses Marvel's intellectual property library. Fine will be responsible for directing and coordinating Marvel's efforts to support and strengthen its brands.
Fine, who joined Marvel in 1996, will retain his current title of ceo of Marvel's publishing and toy divisions.
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has come on board as the principal visual effects house on the new Marvel Studios production of IRON MAN. Sister company Skywalker Sound, which houses EFILMs northern California outpost, completes the post-production triumvirate. Skywalker Sound will handle sound design and mix duties for the film.